As an artist and educator, I strive to take students “beyond the book” to explore many avenues of musical expression. My approach aims to enrich a strong foundation of reading and performance with a variety of skills including rote learning, technique, improvisation, music appreciation, and more. The road less traveled can hold some of the richest opportunities for learning and enjoyment. It has been my privilege to guide students toward these new discoveries to unlock their passions and hidden potential.
Chelsea graduated summa cum laude with a degree in music studies and a concentration in piano pedagogy from the Crane School of Music, SUNY Potsdam, where she studied under pianist Dr. François Germain and pedagogy professor, Dr. Kathryn Sherman. During her tenure at Crane, Chelsea earned the Susan Smykla Udell ’57 Scholarship in piano accompanying and the Class of ’53 Scholarship for future educators. As one of the top scholars in her department, Chelsea was honored with the Music Studies Scholar Award as well as a certificate of merit for academic excellence. In 2014, she was accepted into the Decoda-Skidmore Chamber Music Institute, where she studied with members of the world-renowned Decoda ensemble. In addition to her work in music, Chelsea is passionate about design and holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Savannah College of Art and Design in Savannah, Georgia.
After earning her music degree, Chelsea founded the Hillerich Piano Studio and began teaching privately from home. In summer 2018, Chelsea and her husband Chris performed an extensive remodel of her studio. With her background in design and his engineering and carpentry expertise, the couple’s former “family room” was transformed into a unique space providing all the amenities of a professional studio within the comfort and privacy of a home environment. The studio is now the destination for piano students across the greater Saratoga Springs area with a diverse student body ranging from preschoolers to seniors.