Teacher Profile: Natalie Draper

Natalie Draper

Natalie Draper

Instrument(s): Composition, Piano, Voice, Music Theory

City: Washington, DC


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About Natalie Draper

Dr. Natalie Draper is a piano, composition, music theory, and voice instructor based in the greater metropolitan area of Washington, D.C. She actively works with students from young beginners through adults and utilizes a traditional approach rooted in expression and positive reinforcement to share the love of music with her students.

Natalie began her musical training as a piano student at age six and spent her childhood playing piano, singing in choirs, and writing short songs and piano pieces. She fell in love not only with the classical tradition, but also with pop songs and Broadway show-tunes. Draper went on to pursue her Bachelor's Degree in Music from Carleton College in 2007 and her Master's Degree in Music Composition from the University of Cincinnati's College-Conservatory of Music in 2009. She completed her Doctorate in Music composition at the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University in 2017 where she studied with composer Oscar Bettison--a 2017 Guggenheim recipient. Draper was an artist resident at the Ucross Foundation (2010) and a composition fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center (2015).

An active composer, Draper is praised for her "individual and strong voice" (Colin Clarke, Fanfare Magazine). Her works synthesize her love of classical impressionism, modernism, and minimalism. She has received readings, commissions, and fellowships from a variety of ensembles and institutions, including The Kandinsky Trio, the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, the Strathmore Music Center, and the Tanglewood Music Center. A recent work, Timelapse Variations, which was written for Baltimore's Symphony Number One, has been recorded on the SNOtone label and is available for purchase on iTunes and for streaming on Spotify. Timelapse Variations received positive reviews from Lydia Woolever in Baltimore Magazine ("dissonant melodies that build into a unified spiral"), Tim Smith in The Baltimore Sun (a "tense, darkly colorful churn"), and Mark Medwin in Fanfare Magazine ("...polyrhythm bolstering gorgeous pantonal harmonies and shards of chromatic counterpoint," while "...items burst forth, in a way that might make Mahler smile...").

As someone who has had a wealth of private training with instructors who have varied approaches, Draper firmly believes in making music education a positive and empowering experience for all her students. A music educator since 2011, she teaches ages and levels--from children to adults and from beginners to advanced musicians. Draper believes that each student brings his or her own set of strengths to the table and that talent is most often the product of diligence and practice. She provides comprehensive instruction for students in a positive and affirming manner, while maintaining high standards. Becoming a musician is certainly challenging, but Natalie believes it should always be fun!

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