Greetings, and welcome to my website! My name is Diane Umile.
One day at a piano lesson, 6-year-old Ella asked me why I had wanted
to become a piano teacher. I replied that I love music, children, and playing the piano.
What better way to combine some of my favorite things into my life's work?
I grew up in Downingtown, PA in a large musical family. My parents played lots of classical and jazz records, and my mom was a singer. Mom and I sang in church. My siblings and I listened to folk and rock music. My brothers all played instruments, and we had a piano. My sisters took piano lessons, but they did not enjoy them and they quit. They said their teacher was not nice.
They took up horseback riding. I began ballet classes at the age of three.
When I was ten, I was visiting a friend and she played the piano. Her playing sparked my interest, so I taught myself from my sisters' books for a year. Then my parents decided I should take lessons. They found me a teacher who was much more kind, and who was also an effective teacher with a strong classical focus. Later I went on to take organ, guitar and voice lessons as well. I took a music theory class with an excellent teacher in high school, and it was very enlightening. A friend showed me how to play chords by ear, and I began playing in a rock band in my mid-teens with my brother. (Two of my brothers still play in bands.
At holiday time, we have a lot of fun jamming together!)
As a young adult, I realized that I wanted to teach piano as a career. I went on to study music education at West Chester University and took Suzuki piano lessons and teacher training at several Suzuki Institutes.
Along the way, I have discovered that my students are my best teachers!
I have been teaching piano since 1983 in my home studio. I opened my studio in West Brandywine (Coatesville) PA in 1988, and in 2023 moved it to Natrona Heights, PA.
I play keyboard and sing in Free Range, a local Americana band, with my husband, Tom
I attend piano teaching workshops, participate in webinars, and read extensively to improve my work with students. Most recently, I have focused on helping students learn according to their personal learning styles and/or learning differences.
I taught piano at Cavod Academy, New Holland, 2011 - 2017
I was an assistant teacher at Preschool in the Valley, Malvern, 2010 - 2017 and Beth Israel Preschool, Eagle, from 2006 - 2010
I played piano at Church of the Trinity, Coatesville as a substitute, several years
I taught music at Rockville Learning Center, Honey Brook, and music and piano at Upattinas School, Glenmoore
I have completed five Suzuki Piano Teacher Training Programs: Volume 1A, Volume 1B, Volume 2, Volume 3, and Piano Basics with Suzuki Piano Co-Founder Haruko Kataoka
I studied music at West Chester University
My Suzuki teacher and mentor was Dawn Price Flewellyn of West Chester
I studied voice with Leona Argust of West Chester
I studied piano and organ with Barbara Roberts of Downingtown
I graduated from Downingtown High School
I run Pete's Heartstrings, a local charitable organization which provides music instruments to people in need
I administered Buy Nothing Coatesville, an online gifting group, and The Giving Tree, an online group which connects people who need help with resources, 2019 - 2023
I played piano and sang at church, 2016 - 2020
I played keyboard, sang, and coordinated a church worship band, 1997 - 2016
I taught music, recorder, and other subjects at (and co-founded) GEM Homeschool Co-op, Glenmoore, several years
I directed a children’s choir, and taught Sunday school and Vacation Bible School several years