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Teachers at the Old Town School

Bette Coulson


Bette Coulson (B.M.,M.M.,NCTM) has been a soloist and is a performing member of a piano duo and piano quartet. She has taught piano classes, piano pedagogy, private lessons and piano ensemble at Columbia and currently private lessons at Old Town School of Music. Bette enjoys teaching all ages and skills. She started the first preschool classes at Sherwood Conservatory while many of her college students have gone on to their own careers in music.

Many musicians remember her as owner of Coulsons Music Matters, a retail sheet music shop on Van Buren Street for 32 years. It was sold and is now at 900 N Michigan Avenue.

As a college student and twice a contest winner, Bette gave her debut with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra playing the Aram Khachaturian concerto. She was also finalist in the L.M. Gottschalk piano contest in New Orleans and the Rockefeller American Piano Music Contest in St. Louis. Her degrees are from the Chicago Conservatory of Music (M.M.) Chicago with Harold Berlinger and the American Conservatory of music with Aletta Tenold (student of Rosina Lehvinne, New York). Post college study of contemporary music was with William Browning.

Bette was on the faculty of Northeastern University teaching pedagogy and private lessons and is currently with Columbia College Chicago (having served as interim piano coordinator). Bette and Evelyn Binz give concerts of one and two pianos and a CD of their duet concert at the 4th Presbyterian Church, Michigan Ave, 2015, is available. They are also the founders of the Fran Randall Concert Series for college students at the Levy Center in Evanston. Bette and Evelyn were honored (Feb. 2018) with a plaque put on the Honor Donor Wall at the Levy center in Evanston for their founding and managing the acclaimed Fran Randall Memorial Concert Series. The series presents, three times a year, musicians of college age with a paid performance.

Bette, with her Piano a la Quartette, gave a conference presentation for the Illinois State Music Teachers Association in Charleston on November 1, 2019.

She presented a program for the Lake View Musical Society on December 10, 2023.

Education: American Conservatory of Music, B.M. Piano; Chicago Conservatory College, Chicago, M.M. Piano;
National Certificate Teacher of Music (from MTNA)

Started at the Old Town School in September of 2019