For more than two decades, Debra Perez has been developing curriculum specifically designed to create satisfying musical experiences for students of all ages. Her philosophy of reaching out to a broader demographic of potential music makers has inspired thousands of students and teachers alike. She believes music is for everyone and that every life needs music.
When Debra was first introduced to the Recreational Music Making philosophy, she realized this is what she had always believed. As an internationally recognized specialist in group piano pedagogy, it was a natural progression for her to start sharing her creative and innovative group teaching techniques. Her ability to take a diverse group of students, facilitate a fun music making experience where everyone plays at their own level, create a sense of “everyone belongs here”, has set Debra apart from the mainstream of piano pedagogy. It has also placed her in high demand as a speaker. She has been a featured presenter at National Association of Music Merchants, Music Teachers National Association, National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy, Texas Music Educators Association, Texas Music Teachers Association and numerous colleges, universities, and local teacher groups.
Musical Moments was the result of Debra’s love for the adult hobbyist and was one of the first Recreational Music Making programs on the market. Way Cool Keyboarding came later and Way Cool Keyboarding 4 Kids later still. Debra’s philosophy of inclusiveness coupled with her sound pedagogical prowess can be seen throughout all the materials.
As an influencer, Debra continues to work with Public and Private School Fine Arts Directors sharing the benefits of group piano as an essential part of music education. She also consults with music store owners across the country, helping them implement RMM group piano classes. She and her husband, Matt, own Valley keyboards of McAllen, Texas and The Piano Gallery of Corpus Christi, Texas. Each location maintains more than 30 group piano classes each week with students of all ages.
Dr. Will Baily has been teaching piano privately and in groups since 1974. His teen years were spent playing for church, playing in bands, and performing Concertos with orchestras. Before pursuing graduate degrees, Will taught elementary general music, special needs, and elementary general education, all the while maintaining an independent piano studio. When his first try at composing educational pieces for his students were published by Alfred Publishing Company, he decided to get a Masters in Music and a Doctorate of Arts in Music Theory and Composition with secondary emphasis in Piano Performance and Pedagogy. After several years of college teaching, Will crossed paths with Debra Perez. Her unique style of group teaching and ideas regarding making music accessible for the masses, began transforming Dr. Baily’s personal philosophies about music and music education. Together, Debra and Will have published 16 books with orchestrated backing tracks all specifically aimed at helping people of all ages and abilities learn to play and enjoy the piano. Will also operates a website that offers free piano tunes with backing tracks: willbailypianotunes.com