Adam J. Sears is happy to be a Missoulian. He began studying piano at 6 years old with one of Missoula’s accomplished private piano teachers and accompanists, Dorothy Beck Peterson. After graduating from Hellgate High School in 2011 (where he also played oboe with the Wind Ensemble, directed by Leon Slater, and sang in the Mixed Choir and Chevaliers Club with Dean Peterson), he continued learning the art of piano performance at the University of Montana. One highlight of his senior year in Undergrad was winning the UM Concerto/Aria Competition in 2015 and performing as the soloist in the following honorary concert with the UM Symphony Orchestra. Adam received his Bachelor of Music degree in 2015, and in the spring of 2017, he earned his Master of Music in Piano Performance degree from the UM School of Music, advised by Professor Steven Hesla.
Adam has been active in the Music Teachers National Association throughout his collegiate years. He presented in several pedagogy workshops for Montana State Music Teacher conferences (e.g. 2015 and 2016 presentations with UM pedagogy students in Great Falls and Bozeman, MT). He served as the Graduate Teaching Assistant during his Master’s degree, where he taught university group piano classes, taught collegiate non-piano major piano lessons and assisted the UM School of Music Keyboard division as often as possible. He now plans to become a certified teacher for MTNA. Adam has also performed and lectured as a guest for the UM Summer Piano Camp in 2016 and 2017. He often focuses on topics such as rhythmic awareness and articulation in music and how to transmit the musical message in practice and performance.
Competitions have been an important part of Adam’s development as a concert artist and teacher of music. Adam performed well in several prestigious piano competitions, including MTNA State, Divisional, and National competitions in 2013-2018 (e.g. third place winner in San Antonio, TX, 2015 MTNA Nationals with his String Chamber ensemble, Missoula Piano Trio. He competed in Nationals in Baltimore, MD, 2017 as well). In the summer of 2017, he was accepted and performed as a competitor in the Frances Walton Competition in Seattle.
Adam enjoys being involved in the collegiate musical community and has participated in annual Pianissimo! concerts and tours for the past 6 years. It is always a thrill to be a part of community events like these. Besides teaching music and accompanying instrumentalists and vocalists, Adam enjoys being outdoors, traveling, and activities such as studying trees, unicycling, woodworking, cooking, and other artistic projects.