Dr. Mel Arnoff: Piano Teacher

Dr. Arnoff resides in Solon, Ohio and comes from a musical family.  His oldest sister was a very good pianist and his third sister was an excellent violinist who, at age 16, was invited to join the newly formed Cleveland Womens’ Symphony.  Another sister also played the piano, a brother played ‘cello and another brother played the harmonica.

Dr. Arnoff began formal piano lessons as a teenager. He studied at the Cleveland Music School Settlement with Margarita Jolles and the Cleveland Institute of Music.  Later, at Western Reserve University, he majored in music education.  There he studied with Jeanette Cherubini, a concert pianist and teacher he deeply admired and to whom he credits his advanced training.

At 16, Dr. Arnoff became the pianist/organist for the choir of the Young People’s Congregation of the Temple on the Heights.  Somewhat later he was appointed assistant director of the Jewish Singing Society, then under the direction of Maurice Goldman.

After graduation from Western Reserve University, Dr. Arnoff took a position as a K – 12  music teacher with the Northfield-Macedonia School District (later renamed as Nordonia).   In this position, among other topics, he helped his middle school students learn about American folk music and the Grand Ole Opry. He then helped them write skits about folk music and to form groups that would perform folk music.  All of these were then blended into a student created Grand Ole Opry performance that was presented to parents and open to the community.

At the high school, students took on the task of presenting Gilbert and Sulivan’s Pirates of Penzance.  They created all the music and the scenery necessary for this show.

In the primary grades, Dr. Arnoff created lessons that enabled children as early as second grade to sight read music notation. On the chalkboard, he would write the notes to the beginning of a song and then cover it with the projector screen.  When the children came in and sat in their places, he would announce the “Mystery Melody” game, and, without any note played on the piano, he would raise the projector screen and in a few seconds children’s hands would raise in the air as they identified the melody.  Some of the songs identified were Davey Crockett, Eensy Weeny Spider and Row, Row Row Your Boat.

Today, Dr. Arnoff teaches both children and adults.  His students are of many ethnicities including Philipino-American, Nigerian-American, Peruvian-American and Chinese-American.  His students include both beginners and advanced pianists.

At the conclusion of each academic year, he holds a student recital in Solon, Ohio which is attended by more than 85 people.  Dr. Arnoff also performs at this event.

“I enjoy teaching piano,” says Dr. Arnoff.  “I love to help students learn to play and love every kind of music from the classics all the way to jazz.”


All Rights Reserved by Dr. Melvin Arnoff | Private Piano Lessons Cleveland Ohio | Solon.