“Music is an international language, and I have always loved the logic and science of it. It has fascinated me since my first piano lesson at age six, and I love sharing this fascination with my students.”
Mrs. Marla Turner was born in Zambia, the daughter of missionaries, and first discovered music as an aspiring pianist. She began her tenure with us back in 2013 as a substitute teacher and we are pleased that she now serves as the Academy’s full-time music teacher.
Mrs. Turner earned her Bachelor of Music Education Degree, cum laude, from Midwestern State University. She then spent two years in a piano pedagogy class where she began teaching piano privately under the supervision and counsel of her college piano professor. She has taught private piano for over 35 years, and her students consistently receive superior ratings in competitions. Here at the Academy, she helps students develop their interest in music, discover their musical talents, and integrate music into their total development.
Why is music important? Studies have shown that playing a musical instrument and even simply listening to music can positively impact brain health and function, improve mood, increase intelligence, as well as enhance learning and concentration. "Because music integrates both the left and right sides of the brain,” Mrs. Turner says, “music enhances creativity, motivates, and inspires. It’s a great teacher, too… of life skills such as memorization, self-discipline, and time management… the benefits are endless.”
"Children love performing, and the Academy creates opportunities and affirms their efforts. For me, there is nothing like watching my students reach the point where they know the music so well that they get past self-consciousness and into the excitement of performing. They learn that preparation leads to self-confidence, and that self-confidence leads to a well-received performance. It’s a skill they’ll apply to their studies here and beyond, to everything in life.”
In her free time, Mrs. Turner enjoys knitting, playing the piano, making bread, and reading. She has little free time, however, with a busy schedule that includes “grandmothering” seven children and giving after-school lessons to nineteen students. One of the “side benefits” of working at the Academy? Getting to spend time with her son, Shad, the Academy’s Operations Manager!