Cecelia Wyatt: The Virtuoso of Murray Hill, Annapolis

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Ingrid Schrecker, 13, and Cecelia M. Wyatt
Ingrid Schrecker, the author, and her teacher, the famous Annapolis pianist, Cecelia M. Wyatt. Photo: Alan Krissoff

Recently I interviewed my piano teacher, Mrs. Cecelia Wyatt. I have been learning from her for over two years now, and I don’t think anybody could ask for a better piano teacher. Through interviewing her, I was able to discover how she became interested in playing the piano, and how her life led up to living in our neighborhood.

Mrs. Cecelia Wyatt grew up in North Carolina. Mrs. Wyatt first started playing the piano when she was about 5 or 6 years old. When her mother was a child, she was very artistic and musical, like Mrs. Wyatt. However, her mother grew up in a poor environment, so she could never afford piano lessons. She made a promise to herself that her firstborn child would be able to learn how to play the piano, since she couldn’t.  That child was Mrs. Wyatt.

Mrs. Wyatt grew up playing the piano just as her mother promised. When she received her very first piano book, she whizzed through it within a week or two. Usually “course one” piano books take a couple of months to learn, in order to learn all of the notes. For Mrs. Wyatt, though, she described the notes as coming to her through instinct.

Since Mrs. Wyatt was born during World War II, there was very little entertainment. One of her favorite activities was listening to classical music on the radio with her mother. Classical music then was some of the only music around. It was what music was.

When Mrs. Wyatt grew up, piano playing became her job. Of course, she never considers it a job, she says, because it provides so much pleasure.

She moved to Annapolis, Maryland, 35 years ago with her children for good job opportunities. She loves it here in the Murray Hill neighborhood, because it was a very safe environment to raise her children in, and she loves to teach other children and adults here how to play the piano.  All of her children learned how to play the piano for fun, but her son became a professional musician. He even toured the world with a rock band called Blonde, playing as the keyboardist.

Mrs. Wyatt and her piano duet partner once did performances in schools in order to bring the joy of playing the piano to young students. She also once lived in Vienna, Austria, for a semester to study Chamber Music. There, with her husband Mr. Wyatt, who played the flute, they would play duets together. She still goes there once a year for vacation. It’s her favorite vacation spot.

She loves to cook and was once very into oil painting, but doesn’t do it as much because she is so involved with the piano. She loves to relax in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. Her favorite restaurant is Fado, because it is delicious and it is right down the street.

Today, Mrs. Wyatt is the president of Music Educators of Greater Annapolis, aka MEGA. She continues to help children and adults get involved with music. Recently, we fundraised to get money for a piano for a school. Mrs. Wyatt is planning on continuing teaching people the art of playing the piano today!

She also invites famous pianists to concerts hosted at her house. She has her own conservatory in her house consisting of two grand pianos from Vienna. I saw Anderson and Roe play there, as well as Lara Downes. It was an amazing experience to watch them play and to meet them.

If you are interested in learning to play the piano, I suggest you come to Mrs. Cecelia Wyatt. She can truly make a pure pianist out of anybody who truly wants to learn!

Ingrid Schrecker is an avid reader, writer, pianist, and a rising 8th-grader at St. Anne’s School of Annapolis.

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