Faculty Profiles

Melissa Baxter

Piano

Teaching piano for The Music Center since 2017, Melissa shares her passion for music with students of all levels. She stresses the fundamentals using method books but often supplements lessons with games and technology. Melissa also teaches ear training (aural skills) using lead sheets. “I’ve met many special students — such as a four-year-old with an amazing ear, a doctor and a lawyer who were fulfilling their dream to play piano, and countless others who impressed me with their stamina and work ethic,” she says. Melissa credits her dad for her love of the piano, encouraging her to take piano lessons early. And in 5th grade, she started the flute in band class. “This was powerful because I learned that music is collaborative,” adds Melissa. “The flute allowed me to participate in musical experiences I wouldn’t necessarily have with the piano.” One obstacle Melissa has overcome is fear, and she reflects that it’s easy to compare oneself to other musicians. “We are on our own journey, and we should embrace our strengths and weaknesses to become a unique musician,” she explains. Melissa is currently a music teacher at Bellevue Elementary School. She also accompanies students during Solo Ensemble along with playing in various performances with choirs in neighboring school districts. In fact, one of her most magical musical experiences was accompanying the Marshall High School Choir on piano during their spring concert, performing In This Very Room. Melissa holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education, a Minor in Music, and a Bachelor of Arts in Instrumental Music from Western Michigan University. She enjoys hanging out with her kids, riding with her husband on his motorcycle, reading, and is proud to play the keyboard for and attend Victory Life Church.