Dr. Daniel Baer

Piano (Suzuki and Traditional) and Chamber Music Faculty
Program Area: 
Private Instruction
Suzuki Education
Chamber Music
With Music Institute of Chicago since: 

Doctor of Musical Arts and Bachelor of Music, Eastman School of Music

Master of Music, The Juilliard School

Significant teachers and mentors: 

Douglas Humpherys, Seymour Bernstein, Jerome Lowenthal, Martin Canin, Maxine Giannini

Teaching philosophy and areas of expertise: 

I want each student to achieve their goals at the piano and to have a good experience playing and studying music. I teach technique not just to achieve mastery at the keyboard, but also to gain expressive freedom at the instrument. I encourage my students to use the score to support their musical intuition and to help shape their interpretive choices.


I love the piano because each pianist brings a unique personality to the instrument. You can tell who the pianist is based on the nuances of their tone and phrasing. I also love the depth, range, and variety of piano literature. There are always new composers and music to study, explore, and perform.

Awards and achievements: 

First prize, the Marshall Prize, 2015 Grieg Festival Young Artist Competition

Prize winner, Iowa Piano Competition, National Federation of Music Clubs Biennial Competition, Empire State young artist piano competition

Professional affiliations & activities: 

2020-2021 LYNX Project: artist-pianist premiering new songs for voice and piano, recording songs for an anthology celebrating four years of the autism advocacy series

Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) Young Artist Competition Coordinator Illinois

Suzuki Association of America

Music Teachers National Association (MTNA)

Interests outside of music: 

My interests outside of music include reading, coffee, tea, soccer, running, cooking, and being outdoors.

Favorite quote: 

The man that hath no music in himself, Nor is not moved with concord of sweet sounds, Is fit for treasons, stratagems and spoils; The motions of his spirit are dull as night And his affections dark as Erebus: Let no such man be trusted. Mark the music.

Favorite practice tip: 

Use a metronome and work in sections.

Favorite composer or piece to play: 

I love music from the early 20th century: Karol Szymanowski, Lili Boulanger, Carlos Chavez, Paul Hindemith, Anton Webern, Alban Berg, Bela Bartok, Richard Strauss, Gustav Mahler, Igor Stravinsky, and Arnold Schoenberg to name just a few! I also love to read fiction and essays about music.

Favorite musical moment: 

The best moments when playing or teaching occur when I feel that I am getting closer to what the music means.