As A&A’s first “home grown” faculty member, Austin Porter was initially introduced to the piano when he began lessons as a seven-year-old with faculty member Carole Irwin at A & A Music Academy. He immediately loved to play the piano and always had a performer’s heart. He performed in numerous A&A recitals over the years, as well as participated in school talent shows and high school jazz band. As the years passed, his performance repertoire became more advanced at each recital. He continued taking lessons at A&A throughout his high school years, studying with Mrs. Tatiana Kuznetsov, and even occasionally returned for instruction while in college. Additionally, through the encouragement of his instructors at A&A, he first performed at the annual Granquist Music Competition in Geneva, Illinois when he was eleven years old. He returned annually until completing his college degree. For the competitions, he and his teachers chose some of his favorite classical pieces by Brahms, Mozart, Rachmaninoff, and other composers. Performing at Granquist was both a fun and beneficial learning experience which helped hone his performance skills.
Austin graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Music from Elmhurst College in 2018 and also received a certificate in Piano Pedagogy. During college, he studied numerous genres of music, played in jazz ensembles, and achieved awards for his performances, including induction into Lambda Sigma Psi, a Music Honor Society. Prior to becoming an instructor at A&A, Austin taught piano lessons to beginner and advanced level students through a park district program, as well as worked with students individually and in groups. He is also an experienced accompanist to students playing other instruments at competitions. He joined the faculty at A&A Music
Academy in June 2020, and has felt like he has returned home to where it all began for him. He hopes his talent and dedication to playing and teaching will inspire future generations of musicians.