Susan Griesdale is an award winning Composer, Piano Teacher, Clinician and Adjudicator. Susan studied piano with Elizabeth Pengelly and earned her ARCT from the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. She studied Composition and Theory with Composers Michael J. Rudman, Julian Miran and Heather Schmidt. She studied Piano Pedagogy with Mrs. Marina Geringas at the Royal Conservatory of Music. Susan is an Associate Composer of the CMC (Canadian Music Center).
Susan has published collections for piano, violin, flute, chamber music for toy pianos and choral works. You will find her violin music in the 2021 RCM Violin Series and her piano music is listed in the 2022 RCM Piano Syllabus, the Conservatory Canada Syllabus as well as the ACNMP’s Contemporary Showcase Syllabus. She also has many works published in the Canadian National Conservatory’s Northern Lights Publications.
Her award winning Arctic Voices for piano won the CFMTA Call for Compositions in 2011. In 2017 her piano piece The Road Goes On was included in the compilation of winning pieces along with four of her artwork images. And her piece For the Children, for Violin and Piano, won the CFMTA Call for Compositions in 2022. Her piano music has been chosen as required repertoire for Music Festival Composer Classes and is also included in the MusIQ Club – an after school software program developed for schools across the USA and Canada.
As a clinician Susan has performed and presented piano compositions at both National (CFMTA) and Provincial Conventions, the Toronto Chapter of MYC, at the Suzuki Festival in Kingston Ontario, as well as for ORMTA branches throughout Ontario. She also runs Composition Masterclasses for local teachers and their students.
Susan is a founding member of Red Leaf Pianoworks, a living Composer’s collective which provides a web source for teachers and performers to quickly access exciting new piano repertoire. This website offers a chance to discover the latest new music from some of the prominent pedagogical composers of today.
One of Susan’s passions is art. Many of her piano books contain her drawings to accompany the music. Her Home page displays her books which contain her artwork on the front cover. Susan is also kept busy providing cover designs and artwork for other artists.
WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING...
Boyanna Toyich (Piano Performance, Performance Skills, Piano Pedagogy, Performance Master Class) University of Toronto, Faculty of Music, The Royal Conservatory of Music, President & CEO, Toyich International Projects (TIP), TIP Rome Conference
"Susan Griesdale has participated in the Performance Master Classes which I teach at the University of Toronto and The Royal Conservatory of Music and has performed many of her compositions for this advanced class. I find her compositions to be charming, imaginative and delightful and would certainly recommend them for a most creative inclusion in students' repertoire."
Maria Case, Chief Examiner, Theoretical Subjects, RCME (Royal Conservatory of Music Examinations)
"Susan Griesdale's music for the developing pianist holds its place admirably in a long tradition which provides the student with interesting technical and musical challenges, while appealing to the young imagination. Her pieces exploit the resources of the piano in inventive ways, ranging from warmly lyrical works to those which exhibit a strong and often humorous character. I have enjoyed hearing them played with great flair in festivals and recitals, and look forward to teaching them in my own studio."
Michael J. Rudman, Composer
"In her piano music for young people, Susan Griesdale follows in the tradition of Bach, Schumann and Kabalevsky showing again that music of modest technical demands can also be artistically rewarding." "We can expect great things from a Composer who has produced such striking miniatures as 'Sleepwalking' and 'Shhhhh'."
Andrea Battista, Past President, Hamilton/Halton/Burlington ORMTA…
"I have been teaching Susan Griesdale's Little Hands, Big Pieces, a collection of elementary piano solos and Piano Mime, a collection of junior piano solos, for a few years now, and this past year purchased Let's Pretend, 14 Enchanting Piano Solos. I find each book to be challenging for the level, extremely creative and quite unique. My students are very interested in her drawings, which accompany each piece, and her careful directions capture their imaginations."
Allison Wiebe, Performer specializing in 20th Century Music, Instructor at the University of Western Ontario, RCM Examiner, Adjudicator
"I have had the pleasure of becoming personally acquainted with Susan's new piano repertoire. As a performer, it is idiomatic yet challenging with its depth and multifaceted layers. As a teacher, it is pedagogically coherent but still animated and entertaining enough to sustain any student's desire to learn! A pleasure to play and teach! I look forward to exploring her new pieces in the near future."
Frank Horvat, www.frankhorvat.com
"As a pianist, composer, and teacher, I really enjoy Susan's music. It is so refreshing to see someone composing for kids that nurture's the imagination while using innovative compositional techniques."
Richard Summers, BMus, RCM Examiner, University of Toronto Examiner and Adjudicator
Upon doing a review of the Teachers in Concert Recital, March 2008:
"Highlights of the concert, for me, included: Allison Wiebe's elegant performance of a set of student pieces by Susan Griesdale; these pieces are little gems, diverse, well-crafted and attractive, featuring a contemporary and appealing musical vocabulary."
Iana Ahilov, Author of Piano For Everyone, An Easy Book for Beginners, IRRA Publishing
"Little Hands, Big Pieces is a wonderful book and I will choose the test piece for the Spring Festival at the Academy of Music from your book. The music, the illustrations and the titles are great. I also like the comments for each piece. I look forward to working on the book with some of my young students. Your book is a real treasure. 'Out of the Box' is another wonderful book, which shows again your talent in three aspects — music, art and literature. I am sure that the book will open different communications lines with the students and this is great. I am happy to have the book and work on the pieces with some students."