Welcome to the Miss Lori School of Music

Offering piano, composition and voice lessons in Roswell, Johns Creek, Alpharetta and Dunwoody

 Our mission is to unlock the potential of each student by instilling in them a lifelong love of music, discipline and performance. By giving them the skills necessary to excel at music we also lead them to an appreciation, an understanding and a respect of discipline. Through the setting of short and long term goals, dealing with performance anxiety and learning from gentle critique versus criticism, students gain invaluable life lessons that can have a direct impact on their quality of life!



I teach piano, voice, song writing, and music history to students of all ages, tailoring the approach to each individual student's needs and goals. Utilizing a comprehensive, integral style that connects socially to bring music into focus by helping the student understand not only the notes on the page, but how music through the ages reflects our social values and gives a voice to the hopes and dreams of each era.


I began teaching immediately after graduating from Jacksonville University where I received a Bachelors Degree in Vocal Performance. I worked as an actress in professional dinner theatre, community theatre, fund raisers, wedding singer, special events. Teaching and performing were as easy as breathing to me, but I struggled to make ends meet, mostly due to the economic nature of the arts. I supplemented my income by waiting tables and almost always held three jobs at a time. Waiting tables was NOT as easy as breathing for me! I was once told I was the worst waitress ever to which I responded, "I'm a singer, not a waitress." I also worked in women's retail and learned how to dress professionally and when raising my family I worked as a pharmaceutical sales representative, but I always had students. It seemed to be the one constant in my professional life.


I think because the arts are such an economically challenging way to make a living, we are chosen by the art, as opposed to choosing art. My first students came to me through the church where I was working as a choir director. I worked long hours but because I loved what I was doing, it often seemed strange to be paid for it! I continue to teach and grow as a mentor to new teachers and a coach to my students as they find a way to transition their skills in music to success in whatever their chosen profession may be.


I have a few students online and find that Skype and Google Hangouts are a tool that I believe will continue to help teachers grow their studios and reach students around the world. With that said, however, I think that nothing can ever replace the value of having a teacher physically present with the student. In my opinion, there is a dichotomy because the world is becoming increasingly connected through technology, and yet because of that same technology we find ourselves increasingly isolated. I think the role of music and the arts is poised for a huge renaissance as the need for communication, connecting, understanding and expressing who we are in an esoteric way is amplified. It is a reminder that we are human, striving to say, "We are here. We were here. We had hopes, dreams, desires and yearnings".


As Bach is often quoted, "Music is prayer without words".


A cute, entertaining cartoon article on the importance of the study of music and It's impact on the brain:

Science Just Discovered Something Amazing About What Childhood Piano Lessons Did to You

 By Tom Barnes January 08, 2015

If your parents forced you to practice your scales by saying it would "build character," they were onto something. The Washington Post reports that one of the largest scientific studies into music's effect on the brain has found something striking: Musical training doesn't just affect your musical ability — it provides tremendous benefits to children's emotional and behavioral maturation.

The study by the University of Vermont College of Medicine found that even those who never made it past nursery rhyme songs and do-re-mi's likely received some major developmental benefits just from playing. The study provides even more evidence as to why providing children with high-quality music education may be one of the most effective ways to ensure their success in life.

The study: James Hudziak and his colleagues analyzed the brain scans of 232 children ages 6 to 18, looking for relationships between cortical thickness and musical training. Previous studies the team had performed revealed that anxiety, depression, attention problems and aggression correspond with changes to cortical thickness. Hudziak and his team sought to discover whether a "positive activity" like musical training could affect the opposite changes in young minds.

"What we found was the more a child trained on an instrument," Hudziak told the Washington Post "it accelerated cortical organization in attention skill, anxiety management and emotional control."

The study found increased thickness in parts of the brain responsible for executive functioning, which includes working memory, attentional control and organizational skills. In short, music actually helped kids become more well-rounded. Not only that, they believe that musical training could serve as a powerful treatment of cognitive disorders like ADHD

We need this sort of proof now more than ever. In presenting their findings, the authors reveal a terrifying truth about the American education system: Three-quarters of high school students "rarely or never" receive extracurricular lessons in the music or the arts. And that's depriving kids of way more than just knowing an instrument.

School systems that don't dedicate adequate time and resources to musical training are robbing their kids of so much. Prior research proves that learning music can help children develop spatiotemporal faculties, which then aid their ability to solve complex math. It can also help children improve their reading comprehension and verbal abilities, especially for those who speak English as a second language.

In these ways music can be a powerful tool in helping to close the achievement gaps that have plagued American schools for so long. It's even been shown that children who receive musical training in school also tend to be more civically engaged and maintain higher grade-point averages than children who don't. In short, musical education can address many of the systemic problems in American education.

Hudziak's research is an important addition to the field because it shows that music helps us become better people, too. One thing is clear: Learning music is one of the best things a person can do. Who knows — running scales may have changed your life. And it could change the lives of future generations too.


Tom Barnes

Tom Barnes is a Staff Writer for Mic.com's music section. A graduate of NYU, he's worked brief stints with Columbia Records and Miracle Music. He believes the mind needs music like the body needs food and water.

Copyright © Mic Network Inc. All rights reserved 
325 Hudson Street, 1001, New York, NY 10013

The Economics of Music Lessons

Music Lessons from an Economist’s Point of View

July 20, 2008 at 11:20 pm | Posted in Children's MusicKindermusikMusicMusic MakingMusical Instruments,ParentingSinging | 15 Comments 

Make-up Music Lessons from an Economist’s Point of View
By Vicky Barham, Ph. D.

I’m a parent of children enrolled in Suzuki music lessons. I’d like
to explain to other parents why I feel – quite strongly, actually –
that it is unreasonable of we parents to expect our teachers to make
up lessons we miss, even if I know as well as they do just how
expensive lessons are, and, equally importantly, how important that
weekly contact is with the teacher to keeping practising ticking
along smoothly. I think that it is natural for we parents to share
the point of view that students should have their missed lessons
rescheduled, but if we were to ‘walk a mile’ in our teachers’ shoes,
we might change our minds about what it is reasonable for us to
expect of our teachers.

Like many parents, I pay in advance for lessons each term. In my
mind, what this means is that I have reserved a regular spot in the
busy schedules of my sons’ teachers. I understand – fully – that if I
can’t make it to the lesson one week (perhaps my son is sick, or we
are away on holiday, or there is some other major event at school)
then we will pay for the lesson, but that my teacher is under no
obligation to find another spot for me that week, or to refund me for
the untaught lesson. And this is the way it should be.

In my ‘other life’ I am an economist and teach at our local
university. Students pay good money to attend classes at the
university; but if they don’t come to my lecture on a Monday morning,
then I am not going to turn around and deliver them a private
tutorial on Tuesday afternoon. When I go to the store and buy
groceries, I may purchase something that doesn’t get used. Days or
months later, I end up throwing it out. I don’t get a refund from the
grocery store for the unused merchandise. If I sign my child up for
swimming lessons at the local pool, and s/he refuses to return after
the first lesson, I can’t get my money back. So there are lots of
situations in our everyday lives where we regularly pay in advance
for goods or some service, and if we end up not using what we have
purchased, we have to just ‘swallow our losses’. On the other hand,
if I purchase an item of clothing, and get home and change my mind, I
can take it back and expect either a refund or a store credit.

So why do I believe that music lessons fall into the first category of
‘non-returnable merchandise’, rather than into the second case
of ‘exchange privileges unlimited’ (which I think is one of the
advertising slogans of an established women’s clothing store!)?
Speaking now as an economist, I would claim that the reason is that
items like clothing are “durable goods’ – meaning, they can be
returned and then resold at the original price – whereas music
lessons are non-durable goods – meaning, once my Monday slot at 3:30
is gone, my son’s teacher can’t turn around and sell it again. The
only way she would be able to give him a lesson later in the week
would be if she were to give up time that she had scheduled for her
own private life; and that seems pretty unreasonable – I can’t think
of many employees who would be thrilled if their bosses were to
announce that they couldn’t work from 3:30 to 4:30 this afternoon,
but would they please stay until 6:30 on Thursday, because there will
be work for them then!

Many teachers hesitate to refuse our request to shift lesson times
(because our busy schedules *do* change), because unless they keep us
parents happy, we will decide to take our child somewhere else for
lessons (or to drop musical study), and they will lose part of their
income. This is particularly true in areas with lower average income,
where it can be particularly difficult to find students. So rather
than telling us that ‘well, actually, the only time when I’m not
teaching and that you can bring your son for lesson is during the
time I set aside each week to go for a long soul-cleansing walk, and
I *can’t* do that on Monday at 3:30 when you should have turned up’,
they agree to teach us at a time that really doesn’t suit their
schedule. Teachers who are ‘nice’ in this way often, in the long run,
end up exhausted, and feeling exploited; they try to draw a line in
the sand. However, too few parents ask to switch only when absolutely
necessary, and too many parents want lesson times when it suits them
this week, which is not the same time that suited last week. The only
time that I would feel entitled to discuss shifting a lesson time is
if the reason I can’t make the lesson is because (i) I have to do
something for the Suzuki school and the only time at which that other
event can happen is during my lesson time; (ii) my teacher were to
ask us to participate in some other activity (e.g., orchestra, etc.)
and that other activity were to create the conflict. If the conflict
arises because my child is in the School play, and they have their
dress-rehearsal during his lesson time, then I feel that I must
choose between the two activities, and if he attends the dress
rehearsal my private lesson teacher doesn’t owe me anything.

During May, my eldest son will be missing three lessons because he is
going to accompany me on a trip to New Zealand to visit his great-
grandparents. I do not expect my son’s teacher to refund me for those
missed lessons, or to reschedule them by ‘doubling up’ lessons in the
weeks before or after our departure. Since there will be lots of
advanced notice, I might ask her to consider preparing a
special ‘practice tape’ for that period, or to answer my questions
via e-mail, but if she doesn’t have the time (the second half of
April is going to be really busy for her, and she wouldn’t be able to
do the tape until more or less the week we left) and so has to
refuse, then that’s fine. I certainly don’t expect her to credit me
with three make-up lessons; there is no way for her to find a student
to fill a three-week hole in her schedule during our absence.
Instead, I hope that she will enjoy the extra hour of rest during
those three weeks, and that we will all feel renewed enthusiasm when
we return to lessons at the end of the trip.

Article Copyright © 2001Vicky Barham

Vicky Barham, Ph. D., is the mother of two children who are enrolled
in Suzuki music lessons in Canada. She also teaches Economics at the
University of Ottawa. The TMTA webmasters became acquainted with Dr.
Barham through the Internet and were so impressed with her sound and
logical expressions about music teaching that we asked permission to
publish her ideas for all to share. Her ideas are expressed in two
articles on this website. The article on make-up lessons may be
printed and distributed to others as long as you do not charge any
fee for the article and as long as you give Dr. Barham credit for the
article. Thank you to Dr. Barham for so generously sharing her
expertise with us.


Why waste time studying music?


The dedication and discipline required to develop musical skills often enhances achievement in other studies, in both the sciences as well as the arts. Musical skills are usually carried into adulthood.

According to Nina Kraus, Professor of Neurobiology at Northwestern University, "...music training as children makes better listeners later in life."

Many physicians are also musicians:

Whether music becomes a future vocation or it is an outlet for creativity, it has a uniquely universal ability to lift the human spirit.

I hold a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from Jacksonville University in Florida.

Teachers include Arlene Haskell, Kim King, Josephine Borland in piano and voice with Lupe Landin, Roberta Allo, William Vessels, Harry White and Carole Loverde.

I have performed with the audition only chorus "Michael O'Neal Singers". Musical theatre credits include Lily in "Secret Garden", Eliza Doolittle in "My Fair Lady", Cinderella in "Into the Woods", Liesl in "The Sound of Music", Daisy Mae in "Li'l Abner". Opera credits include "Amahl and the Night Visitors", "Gianni Schicci", "La Fille du Regiment" with the Jacksonville Opera and Charleston Opera as well as soprano soloist in Handel's Messiah with the Parkersburg Opera Society and the Marietta Choral Society.

As a pianist I play for private parties, weddings, funerals, arrange scores for choirs and accompany private voice students, choirs and musicals.

Songwriting is another area of expertise, personally as well as guiding students in composition. Three students have won their school Reflections Competition and one has been awarded the state Reflections Composition Competition. Personal compositions include "Adolescent Frolic", "My Valentine", "Spoiled Baby", "Stop and Go", "Go On and Try Me On", "Sweet Sixteen", "Another Holiday Alone", "Three Million Dollar Heartache".

Choral conducting: Choir Director for Advent Lutheran Church in Orange Park, FL, Disciples of Christ in Athens, OH, Musical Director for St. Timothy Lutheran Church in South Charleston, WV and First Lutheran Church of Parkersburg, WV.

Former certified teacher of Yamaha Music Education System, former president of the North Fulton Music Teachers Association, member of Atlanta Music Teachers Association.