Melinda Hickman teaches Applied Piano and Class Piano at Northern Kentucky University. Originally from Las Cruces, New Mexico, Melinda Hickman began piano lessons at age seven. As a teenager, she was a soloist several times with the Las Cruces Civic Symphony. She started her own piano teaching studio at the age of 14, which continues to this day. For college, she moved to Arizona, then to Cincinnati, teaching music in various forms along the way. At the College-Conservatory of Music she earned three degrees in piano, culminating in the Doctor of Musical Arts.
Her D.M.A. degree is in Piano Performance with a cognate in Music History. Lecture Recital: Religious Symbolism in Liszt’s Sonata in B Minor: A Study of Formal and Programmatic Aspects. Doctoral Thesis: Meaning in Piano Music with a Religious Theme: A Philosophical and Historical Approach. Her major piano teachers include James Ruccolo, Eugene Pridonoff, Elizabeth Pridonoff, and Frank Weinstock. Chamber music study was with Sandra Rivers, and piano pedagogy study with Michelle Conda.
During her college years, Dr. Hickman won many scholarships and awards, including first prize in the Rildia Bee O’Bryan Cliburn Piano Competition in Cincinnati. Upon completion of her Bachelor’s degree (summa cum laude), she also won the Outstanding Academic Achievement Award for graduating with the highest G.P.A. in the College-Conservatory of Music. She was chosen twice to perform live on Cincinnati’s classical radio station, WGUC. She also performed in summer festivals including the Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival in Alaska, and the Academie de Musique de Sion in Switzerland.
From 1997 to 2019, Dr. Hickman was an adjunct professor at Cincinnati Christian University, where she enjoyed teaching several classes including Applied Piano (to majors and non-majors), Piano Pedagogy, Class Piano, Music in World Cultures, Introduction to Musical Styles, and Music History. As master teacher, she oversaw all types of applied music lessons. She was the founder and director of the New Horizons Piano Competition for high school students held at CCU. Each year from 2010-2014, top students competed for $1600 in cash prizes as well as scholarships.
After CCU closed in December of 2019, Dr. Hickman joined the faculty at NKU and also opened Espressivo Piano Studio where she teaches children and adults. She is a member of MTNA and an active performer and adjudicator in the Cincinnati area.