Marla has a business administration degree from the University of Illinois. Upon graduation, she worked for Automatic Data Processing for 17 years. While working, she completed her MBA in finance at DePaul University in Chicago. A mother of three, Marla joined Piano Power in 2009 after taking time off to raise her family.
As the only non-musical member of Piano Power, Marla’s instrument of choice is the calculator. She is the mystery woman behind the many emails for invoices, scheduling, and general reminders.
Abraham is the founder and director of Piano Power. He began offering at-home piano lessons in 2001, continuously refining an engaging teaching style. He was proud to see students thriving through his curriculum, which mixed fundamentals, collaborative original compositions, classical repertoire, and the latest hits from top-40 radio. In 2007 he founded Piano Power, building a talented and enthusiastic team of instructors with this curriculum at its core.
A graduate of Yale University, Abraham has studied piano — jazz, classical, and rock — since 1984. While at Yale, he received the Selden Memorial Award for undergraduate contributions to the arts, and he toured the world as a member of the Whiffenpoofs, an a cappella singing group. For ten years Abraham fronted the Chicago pop-rock band Baby Teeth, which recorded four full-length albums.
In 2010 Abraham created the live music comedy game show Shame That Tune with co-host Brian Costello, garnering an enthusiastic cult following during a five-year run at Chicago’s beloved Hideout nightclub. On his podcast Nerds On Tour, Abraham interviews music people about money, motivation, and the rest of life, and in October of 2016 Abraham released Spontaneity, a collection of pop rock songs uniquely devised with musician Devin Davis under the moniker Teletype.
Abraham serves on the board of Foundations of Music, a non-profit bringing music education and opportunities for creative expression to Chicago children.
As Marketing Director for Piano Power, Lara manages all of Piano Power’s marketing initiatives including advertising, promotion, and digital communications, but her favorite part of the job is creating programs for the bi-annual Piano Power recital!
Lara has an eclectic background, with experience as a marketing coordinator, a muralist, a greeting card artist, and a copyright permissions specialist. When she’s not editing her first novel or caring for her baby daughter, Lara works as a freelance writer and as a StoryBooth facilitator at StoryCorps’ newest branch at the Chicago Cultural Center. View LaraLevitan.com for more.
Beth McDonald is a classically trained tuba player gone awry. As a musician, she works mainly in the genres of electroacoustic music and contemporary classical music, but also performs jazz, pop, and anything else she can. Her solo CD, “Still,” features new works and improvisations for tuba with electronics. Beth received music degrees from New England Conservatory and the University of Kentucky, where she also studied political science. As a classical musician, she has performed with the Lucerne Festival, the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival, and as a soloist with the Johnson City Symphony.
Beth also enjoys organizing concerts, assisting with community projects, and working with technology. In Boston, she was the Artistic Director of August Noise JP concert series, which brought unexpected music into public spaces. Over the course of four seasons, August Noise presented 29 concerts, giving over 115 local musicians a chance to engage with and give back to their community. Beth also helped to organize Make Music Boston 2014 – part of the annual, worldwide Make Music Day festivities.