Maria Jacobsen has always loved the piano since she was six years old. Even though her brother was taking piano lessons, Maria would practice the piano on her own. Her parents realized she was the most dedicated to and interested in the piano, and at the age of 8, studied with a distinguished pianist, educator, and composer, Alice Davis Berryman for 9 years. As a student, Maria performed in the National Guild of Piano Teachers Guild for eight years where she memorized ten pieces a year, earned the Guild’s High School Diploma and was on the National Roll for 7 years. She continued her studies in music at the University of Nebraska at Omaha with pianist Clarke Mullen and received a Bachelor Degree in Music Performance.
Remembering her childhood music studies, and inspired by her fine teacher, she started her own private music studio to share the gift of music to others. She has taught private music for over 40 years. She wanted every chance for her students to not only play the piano but to progress musically and to achieve as many musical goals as possible. She looked into music organizations to give her students the many opportunities to perform in recitals, music events, and competitions. Maria joined and has maintained an active role in professional music organizations for 36 years. She was a member of the Private Music Instructor (PMI) from 1982-1999, and served as President, Vice-President, Secretary and Treasurer. While at PMI, she served as treasurer from 1993-1999. When PMI merged with Omaha Music Teachers Association (OMTA), she served as Treasurer for a total of 24 years, and President from 2016-2018. Maria has also been affiliated with the Nebraska Federation of Music Clubs (NFMC) since 1990 and served as President, Second Vice-President, Collegiate Audition Chairman and currently serves as the local treasurer for the NFMC Junior Festival in Omaha for 18 years. In addition to teaching and club membership service, she also loves to help with the music ministry at her Church playing for Mass services.
Maria always felt grateful for all the opportunities that these fine organizations have given to her students and likes to give back by serving and maintaining an active role. Her students have received numerous prizes including: OMTA Senior Scholarship award, OMTA Young Artists Competition, OMTA Fundamental Fair Trophy winners, and the Nebraska Federation of Music Clubs National Gold Cup honors. She continues to be co-chairman of the OMTA Young Artists Competition. She is currently serving on Executive Boards as Adviser for the Omaha Music Teachers Association, and Secretary for the Nebraska Music Teachers Association.
Maria is a Nationally Certified Teacher of Music in Piano and holds a Permanent Professional Certificate from the Music Teachers National Association. She continues to be called on to adjudicate in the Nebraska and Iowa area. Still today, she is active in professional music organizations, teaching piano lessons to her students and beloved grandchildren.
In October of 2014, she received the NMTA 2014 Service Award for her countless number of years of service to music organizations and music in general.
In October of 2017, she received the 2018 MTNA Fellow Award, which honors deserving individuals who are nominated by their peers for their outstanding work in music. She will be recognized at the MTNA National Conference Gala and her name will appear on the Foundation Fund website and on a plaque located at the MTNA National Headquarters.