Rebecca Nickles is an active piano instructor and collaborative pianist. She has been teaching professionally since 2010, and enjoys working with a variety of age groups. Beginning her piano studies with Marilee Kleespies and Deborah Ausborn, Rebecca was inspired to pursue teaching as a career. She went on to study with Dr. Suzanne Torkelson and taught at the Tower School of Music while attending Wartburg College. After receiving her Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance in 2014, she began her first private studio, Espressivo, and also taught at the UNI Community Music School. In 2016, she held an adjunct position at Wartburg College, accompanying and teaching piano basic skills. During this time, she continued her piano studies under Dr. Ted Reuter before pursuing her Master of Music in Piano Performance and Pedagogy in 2017 at the University of Northern Iowa. There she studied piano with Professor Sean Botkin and Pedagogy with Dr. Lynn Worcester and Dr. Theresa Camilli.
As a graduate student, she presented at the MTNA National Conference in Florida with her colleagues, and performed in Vancouver, BC at the NACWPI National Conference as a collaborative pianist. Rebecca also taught Group Piano for undergraduates and Music for Little Mozarts for preschoolers. After completing her master’s, Rebecca returned to Wartburg College as an adjunct professor for the 2019-2020 academic year as a collaborative pianist. She accompanied several studios as well as the Opera Workshop for their productions of Amahl and the Night Visitors by G. C. Menotti and The Marriage of Figaro by W. A. Mozart under the direction of Dr. Brian Pfaltzgraff.
In addition to repertoire, students are taught music theory, sight-reading, chord charts, and accompanying skills. Students in her studio are encouraged to be active musicians and are given regular performance opportunities. Rebecca recognizes that every student has their own unique personality and musical interests, and greatly values her students' input regarding lesson structure and content.