Brenda Martin, Nationally Certified Teacher of Music and piano professor at Point Loma Nazarene University, has been teaching piano at the university level since 1982. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Trevecca Nazarene University (Spring 1979), a Master of Music Education from Austin Peay State University (Spring 1982), and a Master of Music with an emphasis in Piano Performance from Arizona State University (Spring 1993). While at ASU, she also did extensive doctoral studies in piano performance. Her classical teachers include Nina Chandler, Barbara McClain, Patricia Gray, and Walter Cosand. She has also coached with Enid Katahn, Del Parkinson, George Fee, and Nina Scolnik.
Martin enjoys both solo and collaborative performing. She is a member of “The Seaside Quartet,” a Point Loma chamber ensemble for piano and strings, frequently performs duo and duet piano works with colleagues in faculty recitals, and has done a variety of performances with singers and other instrumentalists. An experienced church pianist, Martin serves as one of the accompanists for two San Diego area churches.
Martin’s life-long interest in jazz and improvisation led her to pursue four semesters of jazz theory at San Diego State University and several years of jazz piano lessons with Rick Helzer, former jazz professor at SDSU. While attending the UCSD Jazz Camp in 2011, she performed in a student ensemble coached by the great saxophonist, Charles McPherson. She has also taken coaching from jazz artists Bob Magnusson, Danny Green, Aimee Nolte, Leonard Patton, and Jeremy Siskind. A member of the San Diego Jazz Collective, Martin has collaborated in a number of jam sessions and gigs in the San Diego area and has occasionally performed as a guest with the PLNU jazz band. She has also performed several jazz faculty recitals with adjunct colleagues Bob Magnusson, bassist and Ian Cler, guitarist as part of the PLNU Faculty Jazz Trio.
Martin's love of composition and arranging has led her to compose many original piano solos, jazz piano solos and lead sheets, and hymn arrangements. Some of her compositions can be purchased through Sheet Music Plus at the links provided under "Order My Music" on this site. Her late intermediate/advanced composition, an etude entitled "Dance of the Clown, a Study in Classical and Jazz Modes" won first place in the 2021 Music Teachers of California's Composers Today competition in the teachers' division in the teaching piece category.
Since 1993, Martin has also studied the Alexander Technique, a technique providing ease of movement. She studies with Alexander teacher Eileen Troberman.