Degree Major Emphasis Institution Year
D.M.A. Piano Performance University of Southern California 2021
M.M. Piano Performance University of Southern California 2001
B.M. Piano Performance Eastman School of Music 1997

Completed her D.M.A. degree in Piano Performance at the University of Southern California, with additional concentrations in Music Teaching and Learning (formerly Music Education), Keyboard Collaborative Arts, and Piano Pedagogy. Former teachers include Stewart Gordon, Alan Smith, Kevin Fitzgerald, Stephen Pierce, Grace Fong, Nelita True, Fernando Laires, Gail Niwa, Mark Richman, and Ruth Sitjar.

Group Piano Instruction for Beginning Non-Music Majors
Group Piano Instruction for Music Majors: I, II and III
Piano Practicum for Technical and Functional Skills
Private and Applied Piano Instruction for Performance Majors (Undergraduate and Graduate)
Private and Applied Instruction (Collaborative Piano Majors)
Basics of Accompanying
Repertoire for Accompanists
Performance Styles for Accompanists
Piano Literature I and II (Undergraduate and Graduate)
Piano Pedagogy I and II (Undergraduate)
Seminar in Instrumental Pedagogy (Graduate)
Observations and Practicum in Teaching (Undergraduate)
Piano Studio Performance class

Classical Piano
Sacred Piano (Gospel/Contemporary)
Keyboard Accompanying
Keyboard Technique
Repertoire for Accompanists
Performance Styles for Accompanists
Piano Pedagogy
Piano Literature
Piano evaluator for the Music Teacher's Association of California's (MTAC) Certificate of Merit Program–2010 to present.
Piano adjudicator for various music competitions and festivals held in California.
Collaborative pianist

California Baptist University, Adjunct Piano Instructor –2015 to 2016.
University of La Verne, Adjunct Piano Instructor; Vocal Coach–2013 to 2016.
Private Piano Instructor–1989 to present.
Thornell Elementary School (New York), Student Instructor–1996.
Prior to joining the CBU Music faculty, Ms. Cruz was also the staff pianist for ULV’s Chamber Singers, University Chorale, and the Vocal department from 2013 to 2016.

"Can You Hear Me Now? Helping Music Students Overcome Distraction," California Music Teacher, 2021.
"Ready, Inspire, Create! A Piano Teacher's Guide: Engaging Students in Musicianship, Interpretation, and Performance," California Music Teacher, 2018.


"Music: Empowering a Women's Soul" - 21st annual Empowering Young Women Conference (Riverside Community College), March 12, 2022.

(Solo Appearances)
Teacher’s Performance Recital, MTAC State Convention–2018 and 2017.
Contemporary Music Seminar, Presenter/Performer, MTAC State Convention–2019 and 2017.
South Bay Festival of the Arts, Torrance Cultural Center–2017.
Collinsworth School of Music Faculty Concert Series–2017.
University of La Verne Faculty/Guest Artist Concert Series–2014 to 2016.

(Collaborative Work)
"Life is Beautiful" Riverside Life Service Banquet & Telethon - 2022
CBU "Kaleidoscope" Faculty Recital - 2021.
MTAC State Convention Contemporary Seminar - 2019.
CAPMT Young Professional's Showcase Concert - 2018.
Gary Bonner Singers’ Choir Workshop and Concert (Seattle, Washington)–2017.
Gary Bonner Singers’ Christmas Choir Concert–2015.
Los Angeles premiere of the musical comedy “Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown”–2014.

(Orchestral appearances)
Featured soloist with Bellflower Symphony Association–1990.
Featured soloist with Los Angeles Bach Festival Orchestra–1989.

1st Place Winner of Joanna Hodges International Piano Competition (Masterclass Division)—1991.
Gold Medalist, Southern California Junior Bach Festival—1989 and 1987.
Finalist, Young Keyboard Artist Competition—1988.

Fellowship Monrovia–2017 to present.
Bible Baptist Church of Victorville, Church pianist and accompanist–2006 to 2017.

Music Teacher's National Association, USC Collegiate Chapter, Member–July 2018 to present.
California Association of Professional Music Teachers (MTNA affiliate), Member –July 2018 to present.
National Society of Leadership and Success, Candidate–2018.
Music Teacher’s Association of California, Board Member, Treasurer–2015 to 2017.
Music Teacher’s Association of California, Executive and Finance Committee Member–2015 to 2017.
Music Teacher’s Association of California, Board Member, 1st Director–2013 to 2015.
Music Teacher’s Association of California, Diamond Bar Branch, Member–2004 to present.

Enjoys traveling and cruising.
Favorite place to visit: Hawaii.
Husband: Enrico
Children: Jonathan, Jasmine, and Justine

Life Verses:
"And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him." Colossians 3:17
"And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men." Colossians 3:23
"I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." Philippians 4:13

Favorite Quotes:
"Music expresses that which cannot be put into words that which cannot remain silent." Victor Hugo
"Next to the Word of God, the noble art of music is the greatest treasure in the world." Martin Luther