About the studio

Little Bird Music offers customized piano programs that range from preschool to intermediate and advanced levels. Students may choose to take separate music theory and/or composition lessons that focus on a range of individualized topics.

The mission of Little Bird Music is to help students cultivate a lifelong love of music and learning. We welcome students ages four and older who are intrigued by the piano and willing (along with their parents) to put the time and effort into making music a part of their lives.

Little Bird Music takes pride in providing a high quality instrument and the latest teaching tools. The studio is equipped with a six-foot Yamaha grand piano.

The name of the studio derives from the ancient legend of St. Gregory. One day, a little bird flew onto Gregory's shoulder and sang a song. Gregory was so moved by the music, he created a system to write it down. Thus emerged Gregorian chant, western music notation, and the saying "a little bird told me."



Alice Cotter, Ph.D., grew up in Nevada City, CA and has played the piano since the age of four. She went on to study music theory, composition, and piano performance at the University of California at Berkeley, where she received her B.A. in music in 2006.

In 2009, Alice moved from Truckee, where she taught more than 30 piano students, to Princeton, NJ to embark on her graduate studies. She holds a Ph.D. in musicology from Princeton University. Alice has presented her research on twentieth-century opera at conferences throughout North America and has published articles and reviews in several scholarly journals. She has taught in the music departments at Princeton, UC Berkeley, and UNR. A working musicologist, Alice is currently writing a book on the operas of John Coolidge Adams. She is a member of the Music Teachers' Association of California.

Now settled in Truckee, Alice is able to combine her enthusiasm for teaching music with her scholarly interests and love of the mountains. She is respected for her fun, creative approach to teaching and the positive learning environment of her studio. Alice is a mother herself, loving every moment with her family: five-year-old daughter (Ingrid), three-year-old son (Cody), and husband (Paul).