Piano, Guitar, Theatre, Music Theory
Pop, Jazz, Blues, Rock, Folk, and More
Catherine has the great good fortune to be part of the Old Town School of Folk Music’s Frank Hamilton – Steve Levitt teacher lineage. She was the department chair for the kids’ group piano program at the Old Town School of Folk Music, when such a thing existed, and she has been on Frank’s Faculty since the inception of the group of teachers who have dedicated their artistic lives to building and fostering community in the school. She serves on the editing team for the Old Town School of Folk Music songbook.
In addition to piano, guitar, and singing, at various points Catherine has also played
bass, drums, sousaphone, banjo, and viola. Favorite musical endeavors include
supporting roles in The Snow Queen at Victory Gardens Theatre, the Buzzkills, the
Marching Illini, and the Nightflecks, and producing the Schoolhouse Rock concert, a
faculty-led showcase. Her current main project is Catherine Norden and Her Heroes.
In piano lessons, Catherine's students develop reading skills and understanding of
music theory, as well as accompaniment while singing, ear training, and improvisation
across all musical genres. Her guitar classes include learning plenty of rock and roll
with blues, jazz, soul, and folk inflections. The ensembles she teaches are purely for
love of the style. Past and present ensembles include her favorites Neil Young, Elton
John, the Beach Boys, Harry Nilsson, Todd Rundgren, Fleetwood Mac, Mellow Gold,
Frank Zappa, the Monkees, and Steely Dan. She is the musical director for the Musical
Theatre Ensemble, teaching this showcase-based class with Incredible Teachers Mary
Peterson and Jeff Gandy. The music theory curriculum she developed and teaches is
completely unique, thorough, immediately useful, and fun.
In addition to teaching students at the Old Town School of Folk Music and around the
country, Catherine is raising two children, practicing and singing every day, trying to
hone her jazz chops, and coaxing her music theory book into existence.
Education: B.A. University of Illinois
J.D. The John Marshall Law School
Started at the Old Town School in August of 2001