Ms. Jody

 Piano Instructor 




Ms. Deems-McCargar hails from Mt. Pleasant, Michigan where she started playing music at six years old. She took piano and voice lessons and was part of church choirs and their musical theaters. Music is something that continuously and consistently made her everyday life a little bit brighter. She'll never forget the first time she could play "chords" to a Beatles' song and has loved making musical discoveries ever since. She hopes to pass these feelings onto her students.

Jody entered her first piano competition at eight years old where she performed "Solfeggietto"; a short solo keyboard piece in C minor composed by Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach in 1766. She went on to win the "Womens' City Club Fine Arts Scholarship Competition" in Mt. Pleasant Michigan that provided her with a music scholarship to attend her first "Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp" and a handful of tuition-free summers at "Interlochen Arts Academy", These events introduced Jody to a higher level of piano technique, cultivated her performance skills, and increased her general musicianship.

Jody has studied under a litany of mentors at a variety of locations. She started with Dr. Lucille Hazecamp at Central Michigan University Mt. Pleasant from 1974-1986, Dr. Ralph Votapek at Michigan State University College of Music from 1986-1989 where she received her Bachelors of Arts Degree in Piano Performance. She then studied under Dr. Valery-Lloyd Watts and Carole Bigler at Queens University, Kingston Ontario from 1994-2006. She also spent four years studying The Suzuki Association of the Americas from 1990-1994 where she received her Suzuki Piano Instruction Certifications from The SAA/Suzuki Association of the Americas". She's also been a member of the West Michigan Piano Teacher Forum, MMTA and National Association of Music Teachers, Federation Music Clubs, St. Cecilia’s Music Clubs, the Grand Rapids Federation of Musicians Local 57, and Suzuki Association of the Americas.

Jody is a co-founder, former Director of The Piano Cottage Studios where it became West Michigan’s home to more than 500 pianists from 4-94 years old. She was also the recipient of the 91.6 WCSG Radio Station "Hometown Hero" Award. After stepping down from the Piano Cottage, Jody is enjoying her time with her husband in Middleville. They live on a 7-acre parcel of farmland that includes a small orchard and a large flower and large vegetable garden. If she wasn't teaching, she would be selling the flowers and open a small flower and donut shop. They love gardening, hiking, and cooking as well as spending time with their four adult children: Henry, Duncan, Georgia & Suzy, plus a new grandchild and their dog, Graham Cracker.

You may catch Jody as a hired musician, professionally for various local events including college & community theater musical productions such as The  Civic Theater and the Circle Theater . She also accompanies ballet, dance studios, church events, and local high school choirs. She'll occasionally perform at weddings and private parties.