CE Programs for Instructors

 Course Calendar
 Piano & Vocal Pedagogy Courses
 Faculty Mentors



Download the 2015 Continuing Education Calendar
* All Course Schedules and Workshops based on availability and interest


Continuing Education Programs for Instructors


A complete listing of our teacher workshops and meet-ups is available on our annual Continuing Education Calendar. Teachers are provided with a calendar each year making it easy to plan their participation. We offer two workshop formats: Broadcasted Workshops and Local Workshops. Broadcasted Workshops are one and half hour sessions focusing on pedagogical or performance related topics. PLIYH Faculty Members present these workshops and there are several sessions on a Saturday and following Monday. Teachers have the opportunity to register for Piano, General Music, Voice and Guitar Workshops three to four times per year.
Local Workshops are more free form and often combine the talent of our local instructors who want to present a specific topic and our Regional Directors who have information to present as related to their local school.

Full participation in workshops will result in a CE credit toward annual pay raises.


Since 1998, Piano Lessons In Your Home has offered free pedagogy courses to our teachers. Originally, piano courses focused on teaching and repertoire were offered. Now, many years later, PLIYH has six levels of Piano Pedagogy and three levels of Vocal Pedagogy. All instructors are eligible to take our courses which range in length from six to ten weeks. Teachers can participate by attending at your local office or by taking courses online. Course schedules are listed in our annual CE calendar.

Teachers who take and pass these college level courses receive credit toward their annual CE raises.


We provide valuable support to our teachers by mentoring them when they want or need assistance with specific student situations. Teacher consultations are one-on-one meetings with our National Artistic Director and can be scheduled as needed during Site Visits or by phone. The goal of a session is to identify a primary focal point for the student’s lessons and to develop a plan of action through curriculum. Consultations are often used to more closely identify learning styles, rate of progress, changes in practice habits and reinvigorating interest in lessons. Consultations are also scheduled to gain assistance when preparing for exams, competitions, recitals and adjudications.


Current instructors are welcome to contact Christie Chiles Twillie and Dr. Cynthia Mahaney for support and questions related to teaching and performing. We look forward to hearing from you.


Christie Chiles Twillie
National Artistic Director
Teaches – Piano Pedagogy I – VI.
 (773) 334-0181
 (847) 492-1833

Christie enjoys working with teachers and students and encourages them to make the most of their musical experiences. She joined the PLIYH team in September 2000 as a private piano instructor. Her Bachelors and Masters Degree studies were in Piano Performance at West Virginia University, and at Ohio University. She also has a minor in Dance from West Virginia University. Christie received multiple undergraduate scholarships and graduate assistantships to attend both universities. In addition to studying with her father, Fred Chiles, Dr. Charlotte Giles, Peter Amstutz and Sylvia Henry, she performed in Master Classes with Nelita True and Christopher Taylor. Her chamber music coaches include Rudolph Haken, Stephen Boe, Jean Barr, and Howard Beebe. Christie won the WVU Young Artist Concerto Competition in 1995 with her performance of the Piano Concerto No. 1 by Franz Liszt. That same year she was the recipient of the Marion Anderson/Alvin Ailey Award for Excellence in the Arts. She has been featured as a soloist and chamber musician with the West Virginia State University Choir, West Virginia University Symphony Orchestra, Opera Columbus, Ohio University Graduate String Players, The Columbus Women’s Orchestra, and at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland. In 1997, Christie established the Chiles Academy of Music in Columbus, Ohio and taught beginning to professional level students until moving in 2005. Her students continue to study and compete with their new instructors. She herself has judged competitions for the National Federation of Music Clubs, NAACP Act-So Competition and the Tiferith Israel Young Jewish Competition.
Christie was featured on the West Virginia Public Radio Broadcast entitled, “Postcards from West Virginia” where she performed all of the music from the Tchaikovsky “Nutcracker Suite,” and spoke of the challenges of interpreting the music for multiple instruments and characters on the piano. Christie taught piano to music majors and non-majors at Ohio University, and was an adjudicator for the Kentucky Arts Council Artist-In-Residence program.
In 2001 Christie was appointed as a PLIYH Piano Pedagogy Faculty Member and began developing the curricula for the Pedagogy I-VI courses for instructors. In 2003, she became the Artistic Director for the PLIYH Headquarters in Columbus, OH. Christie served as Chairman of the Development Committee for Women in Music-Columbus in 2003 and as President of the organization in 2004. She became the PLIYH National Artistic Director and Regional Director for the Little Rock Arkansas office in 2005. Since then she has more fully developed the Continuing Education program, conducts instructor and parent workshops, manages PLIYH Faculty, teaches instructor and student Master Classes and manages the Concert Series during Site Visits.

In September of 2005 Christie was honored to be the keynote speaker at the Steinway & Sons, “Doctors in Concert” benefit for Multiple Myeloma Research. In 2007 she was appointed Regional Director of the Chicago, IL office for Piano Lessons In Your Home. She is currently the pianist for the Pivici Trio. She performs in musical theatre and opera productions in Chicago and is also a member of the Evanston Music Club, MTNA, the Illinois Music Teachers Association and Chicago Area Music Teachers Association (CAMTA).


Dr. Cynthia Mahaney
Teaches – Voice Pedagogy I – III.

Soprano Cynthia Mahaney has extensive performing and teaching experience. A graduate of Ohio State University (June 2006), Cynthia received her Doctorate of Musical Arts in vocal performance. While there, she was awarded the Margaret Speaks Award as the top female singer. After initially earning her Bachelor of Music degree in vocal performance from Ohio University, Cynthia received her Master of Arts degree in vocal pedagogy from OSU.
Dr. Mahaney spent time in Chicago where she sang in the Chicago Symphony Chorus under the late Margaret Hillis. Dr. Mahaney’s most recent operatic role was as the High Priestess in Opera Columbus’ production of Aϊda, and received a favorable review in Opera News magazine. Other roles include Gertrude in Hansel and Gretel (Opera Columbus Outreach), Annina in La Traviata (Opera Columbus), Delphinia in Babes in Toyland (Toledo Opera), Violetta in La Traviata (Lincoln Opera), and First Lady in The Magic Flute (OSU Opera Theater). Cynthia’s performances also include solos with the Upper Arlington High School Music Department (Carmina Burana), Toledo Symphony Orchestra (Mozart’s Requiem), and members of the Columbus Symphony Orchestra at Saint Joseph Cathedral (Handel’s Messiah and Duruflé’s Requiem.) In the summer of 2004 Cynthia was one of the soloists on the opening concert of the Lancaster (Ohio) Arts Festival performing Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy.

A recent performance at Kenyon College in January 2010 was organized by Dr. Mahaney and featured the music instructors of Kenyon. This concert, A New Millennium of Music: Women in Song, received a community development grant and featured vocal music written by women composers since the year 2000. Recordings featuring Dr. Mahaney include Calidente, music performed by flutist Rodolfo Vazquez, and the newly released recording of original music by Columbus composer Jerry Casey, Yet I Will Rejoice.
Cynthia is soprano section leader of Broad Street United Methodist Church, and is on the teaching faculty at Kenyon College. She is also a piano instructor with Piano Lessons in Your Home and part of the Voice Faculty in the department of Continuing Education with the company. She designs vocal pedagogy courses and workshops via a Webninar format for the voice teachers of the company, which has seven regional offices across the country. Dr. Mahaney is also the past president of Women in Music-Columbus.