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Alice Canaday

  • Piano
  • Piano Pedagogy

Alice Canaday (1921–2008) taught piano at NEC beginning in 1959, at the invitation of Preparatory School founder and then-director Frances Brockman Lanier. Canaday continued to teach students of all ages through the Preparatory School, College, and School of Continuing Education into the 21st century. In addition to studio lessons, she taught classes in keyboard harmony, sightreading, and ensemble. She shared her experience as a studio teacher with NEC's College students when she taught piano pedagogy classes.

Alice Canaday's activities in education extended beyond the studio. She was author of Contemporary Music and the Pianist (1974), the product of work she did on a fellowship at Radcliffe's then-nascent Bunting Institute. When it was reprinted in 1997, composer John Harbison called the book "an excellent gateway to the piano music of our most recent century." Canaday chaired the Seminar on Contemporary Music for the Young at the Music School at Rivers and was a past president of the New England Piano Teachers Association.

Former NEC Preparatory and Continuing Education Dean Mark Churchill called Canaday “one of the pillars of the Prep faculty for decades. She was a model of the devoted, sensitive music mentor/teacher who brought out the best in each of her students.” Canaday and her husband, Wilbur, created an endowed scholarship in her name in 2001, and she continued her service to NEC as a member of the Conservatory's Board of Visitors.

A.B., Smith College; B.M., M.M., Yale University. Studies with John Duke, Bruce Simonds, Bruno Eisner, Victor Babin. Radcliffe Institute Fellow, 1961–62. Bunting Institute Fellow (Radcliffe), 1971–72.

Donations in Alice Canaday's memory may be sent to the Alice Canaday Endowed Scholarship Fund, New England Conservatory, 290 Huntington Avenue, Boston MA 02115. For more information, please contact Julia Olson, Associate Director of Donor Relations, by e-mail or by phone at 617-585-1185.