Jennifer Cruz Image

Jennifer Cruz, D.M.A.

Director of Keyboard Studies
Associate Professor of Music
Instructor - Applied Piano, Piano Pedagogy, and Keyboard Collaborative Arts

Office Phone: (951) 343-4253
Office Location: Hawkins Building 201
Office Hours: By Appt.

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
  • Additional Education

    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.

  • Courses Taught

    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

  • Academic Areas & Scholarly Interests

    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

  • Teaching Experience at Institutions Other than CBU

    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.

  • Research, Presentations, & Publications

    "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.

  • Church Membership & Activities

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

  • Community Service & Involvement

    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.

  • Interests & Hobbies

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

  • Personal Philosophy

    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