Dr. Kathy Rabago

My Story

Business Owner, Professor, Piano Teacher, Mom.  I wear many hats!  I love being a woman of the 21st century, being able to be “mama” to two beautiful children, who are the joy of my life, and then being able to step into the role of “Dr. Rabago” while teaching music.  As I look back on this journey that has brought me to this point in my life, I see the threads that tie all of this together.  I began my journey in music studying with my own mother at age 4.  Piano became more than a pastime for me, more than a passion.  I received my bachelors of music in piano performance at Trinity University in San Antonio.  During this period, I also spent one semester exploring music in Vienna Austria and two summers learning and growing as a musician at the Aspen Music Festival and School.

There is beauty and music in all of us.

Graduate School & beyond

After College & Graduate School

After graduation, I journeyed to Washington, D.C. to intern with the director of education of the National Symphony Orchestra at the John F. Kennedy Center for the performing arts.  It was there, seeing the joy and wonder in the children’s faces at the concerts, that I began my interest in music and its role in childhood.  When my internship was over, my home state of Texas called me back, and I completed my masters of music in Piano Performance at Southern Methodist University in Dallas.  While working on my masters, I became involved not only in organizing children’s concerts (as I had learned at the Kennedy Center), but also in technology.  After graduation, I became the director of piano productions for isong, an internet company that produced interactive educational materials for piano and guitar.  It was a wonderful time of learning about technology in music, recording performances for the software, and editing music for pedagogical purposes.

This journey brought about a curiosity in me that made me longing for more knowledge.  I applied for, and was accepted into the DMA program at UT-Austin for piano pedagogy, a wonderful program that only accepts three students at any one time, allowing those three students to grow in research and to teach university classes under supervision and training. I again focused my research on technology, applying what I had learned at my previous job.  Much of my research and national lectures during those years focused on technology in music, and my dissertation centered around creating an online interactive searchable database for intermediate 20th century music.  I graduated with my doctorate in musical arts with a degree in music education, piano pedagogy in 2003.

Opening Velocity

My personal life then stepped to the forefront, as I purchased a house, got married, and began a private piano studio.  Running a private studio has always brought such joy to me, seeing students of all ages grow in musical knowledge.  My son was born in 2005 and my daughter in 2007.  Watching them grow and being a part of their life has been priceless, and now more than ever, I value the role of music in a child’s life.  In 2007, Trinity University asked me to return to campus, not as a student anymore, but as a professor, teaching music theory and piano.  I taught at Trinity for a year and 1/2 and then accepted a position teaching piano at St. Edward’s University in Austin, Tx.  In 2010 I started perhaps my biggest business journey–opening a 1500 square foot community music school in Cedar Park, TX, employing 14 other music teachers.  Becoming an entrepreneur and business owner has stretched my skills and caused me to grow and learn in more ways than I ever thought possible.  I now teach at St. Edward’s University and own and direct Velocity Music Academy in NW Austin (Cedar Park), TX.  What a wonderful journey it has been so far.

My Résumé

Education

2000-2013

The University of Texas at Austin

DMA Music Education, Piano Pedagogy

1996-1998

Southern Methodist University

MM, Piano Performance

1991-1995

Trinity University

BM, Piano Performance

1991-current

Publications

Lectures:

  • MTNA National Convention,Presentation:  High-tech Retention Tools:  4 Simple Ways to Maintain and Increase Student Interest in Piano Lessons Through Technology
  • MTNA National Convention, Salt Lake City, Utah Presentation:  Transferring the Steps of Interactive Teaching to Technology
  • TMEA State Convention, Poster Session The Effect of Sequenced MIDI Based Instruction on Rhythm, Pitch Accuracy, Performance Continuity and Pitch Direction of Beginning Piano Students
  • College Music Society/Association for Technology in Music Instruction National Convention, Kansas City, Missouri Presentation:  The Creation of a Multimedia Web Database for the Selection of 20th Century Intermediate Piano Repertoire
  • Sam Houston State University, Texas Tips and Tools for Teaching Class Piano Using the Text “Piano for the Developing Musician”, 5th Edition, Hilley and Olson, Authors.
  • TMEA State Convention, Poster Session The Effect of Multimedia on Group Piano Teaching
  • West Texas A&M Student Research Conference Research presentation:  Music in the Meiji Period:  Musical Growth as related to the introduction of the Tonal System of the West
  • MTNA State Convention One of three Texas Music students chosen to do a teaching demonstration within a Master-class setting

Publications:

  • Keyboard Companion Perspectives in Pedagogy
  • American Music Teacher Review:  Piano Virtuoso, 1.0 Instructor Edition
  • American Music Teacher Review:  A Lighter Shade of Christmas
  • Roland Piano Educator The Effect of Sequenced MIDI Based Instruction on Rhythm, Pitch Accuracy, Performance Continuity and Pitch Direction of Beginning Piano Students
  • Piano Pedagogy Forum Using the Internet to Create Multimedia Databases for Repertoire Selection
  • isong.com (distributed by Hal Leonard),instructional CD-ROMs Easy Classical Piano, Volumes I and II, Popular Classical Piano, Glen Gould Plays Bach
  • The University of Texas, Interactive Multimedia Development, The Current State of Audio Technology
  • Web Design Team and Digital Video Leader for “Alien Rescue”,interactive Science Program created by the UT Education Dept.

Entrepreneur

2010-current

Velocity Music Academy, LLC

Owner, director, and manager of a music studio with 18 employees and 300 enrolled students.  Partnership music conservatory programs with Leander ISD and Hill Country Christian School of Austin.

2016-current

Music Mentor Group

Founding Member of Music Mentor Group, LLC, providing consultation and coursework to music studio owners.

1991-current

Experience

  • Music Faculty, St. Edward’s University
  • Music Faculty, Trinity University
  • Director of Piano Productions, iSong
  • Music Director and Organist at many locations in Austin and Dallas, TX
  • Education department, National Symphony Orchestra, JFK Center, Washington DC
  • Private Piano Studio
  • Assistant Instructor, The University of Texas at Austin
  • Faculty, Sam Houston Sate University Piano Camp
  • Instructor, The University of Texas Piano Project
  • Graduate Assistant, The University of Texas Piano Camp
  • Teaching Assistant, Southern Methodist University
  • Instructor, Southern Methodist University, Piano preparatory Department
  • Children’s Concerts Organizer, Southern Methodist University

Awards:

  • Graduate Travel Award
  • Meadows Artist scholarship
  • Eubie Blake Ragtime Scholarship
  • Paige Prize in Piano Performance
  • Sanders Prize for Piano Pedagogy
  • Mattie Jennie Music Trust Fund Scholarship
  • Jewel H. Storey Music Scholarship
  • President’s Scholarship
  • National AAL Scholarship
  • Texas Bass Music Scholarship
  • Mu Phi Epsilon Scholarship