Faculty Spotlight: Linda Chacholiades

Linda Chacholiades
Linda Chacholiades

Gifted pianist shares her wealth of musical knowledge with her students

Linda Chacholiades, a music instructor at Inver Hills Community College, had her first piano lesson at the age of 5. Linda fell in love with the piano and not only bucked the odds and continued her lessons (eight out of 10 would-be piano players ultimately quit taking lessons), she went on to study with some of the world’s finest pianists and musicologists.

Linda holds a Master of Music (M.M.) in Piano Performance from the Cleveland Institute of Music, studying with Anita Pontremoli. She earned her Bachelor of Music (B.M.) in Piano Performance and Harpsicord (secondary) from the University of Georgia, Athens, studying with Evgeny Rivkin and Egbert Ennulat. She has also studied with Jerome Rose and Daniel Shapiro. Linda also did postgraduate coursework at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, studying with Paul Shaw and Gabriela Currie.

What does music mean to you in your life?
Everything. Listening, learning, discipline, creativity, breathing.

— Linda Chacholiades, Music Faculty, Inver Hills Community College

Earlier in her career, Linda studied abroad at the Mozarteum University in Salzburg, Austria, with George Kern. She has performed in several piano competitions, including the 1998 Gerschefski Competition, where she earned honorable mention. She was a finalist at the 2001 Greek Women’s University Club Music Competition in Chicago, Illinois, and the 2001 Ludmila Knezkova-Hussey International Piano Competition in Bathurst, Canada.

Before arriving at Inver Hills in 2013, Linda taught music at Gainesville State College in Gainesville, Florida, Georgia Perimeter College in Atlanta, Georgia, and Berkshire Community College in Pittsfield, Masschusetts. She served as music faculty at St. Cloud State University, Hennepin Technical College, Metropolitan State University and McNally Smith College of Music. She also teaches music at Saint Paul College and offers private piano lessons to Inver Hills students, the latter one of her favorite roles as a college-level instructor.

Since 1995, Linda has operated her own private piano studio. Her students have received awards in competitions and performed in Master Classes with world-renowned musicians, including Maurice Hinson. Linda is often called on to judge young artist competitions. She belongs to the College Music Society, the St. Paul Piano Teachers Association and the Music Teachers National Association, Minnesota chapter.

Applied music lessons at Inver Hills

The Music department at Inver Hills Community College offers applied music lessons in a variety of areas. These private, individualized lessons are offered in the following musical pursuits:

  • Voice
  • Piano
  • Guitar
  • Percussion
  • High brass
  • Low brass
  • String
  • Woodwind

For a fee of $150, students receive a half-hour lesson once a week for the entire semester. They also get the opportunity to work with musicians who are recognized experts in their field.

Applied music lessons give students of all skill levels the ability to receive individualized assistance in learning their preferred instrument.

If you are interested in taking applied music lessons at Inver Hills, contact:

Andrew Martin, PhD
Music Faculty

Inver Hills African Drum and Dance Ensemble
Inver Hills African Drum and Dance Ensemble

More about Linda…

Originally from Atlanta, Georgia, Linda resides in St. Paul, Minnesota, with her husband, Michael, also a musician. Michael has a doctorate in guitar and serves as a music professor at Minnesota State University Moorhead.

Linda and Michael have three dogs, a German shepherd named Phoebe, 6, a Lab-golden-collie mix named Tate, 7, and a 40-pound mutt named Grace, 7. Linda owns three horses—two thoroughbreds, a mare named Artemis and a gelding named Orion, as well as a paint named Cosmo.

When she’s not teaching, Linda enjoys riding her horses and competing in league polo, a sport she has played for five years. She also loves reading, cooking, studying herbalism and all things related to music.

Linda Chacholiades Q & A

Linda Chacholiades
Linda Chacholiades

What do you like best about teaching at Inver Hills?
The students!

What is your teaching philosophy?
Every student can be reached! I strive to teach my students to enjoy the “process” of learning about music.  After all, this is a subject you are never done discovering the possibilities.

When and why did you start playing piano?
I had my first piano lesson at the age of 5 because my parents offered it to me. I quickly fell in love with the instrument and the rest is history. I’ve always been attracted to music. I started dancing at age 3 and continued until I was 17. I trained in ballet, jazz and tap. As a teenager, I performed professionally in Greek folk dance and even appeared at the 1988 Democratic National Convention, where I met Michael Dukakis.

What do you like best about the piano?
It’s a whole orchestra at your fingertips!

What is your most memorable experience playing piano?
The many recitals and competitions I participated in, especially during graduate school.

What musical genre is your favorite?
Classical. But also enjoy “rocking” out!

Three words that describe you as a pianist

Who is your favorite composer?
Ah! Another difficult question. My top five are Bach, Beethoven, Schumann, Rachmaninov and Chopin. I could name so many others, but I will let this be my current list.

What would you tell a student who’s thinking about taking up piano?
Anything is possible with hard work, dedication, and great training/mentors.

What would you tell a student who’s thinking about music as a career?
Musicians today need to have an entrepreneurial spirit. We must be willing to do many different things: performing, teaching, writing, constantly improving your craft, and having a good mind for business in general.

What’s one thing every pianist should know?
That there is just as much beauty in the space between the notes as the notes themselves.

What person has influenced your life the most?
My childhood piano teacher: Marilyn Walthall; my undergraduate and graduate piano teachers: Tommy Joe Anderson, Evgeny Rivkin, Anita Pontremoli, Olga Radosavljevich; and my music and life mentor, John Sutherland.

What’s been your greatest challenge so far?
Never enough time to do all the things I’d like each day!

What’s been your greatest achievement so far?
Being a piano teacher for over 20 years now and watching my students grow and flourish as the next generation of musicians.

Linda Chacholiades gallery

About the A.F.A. in Music at Inver Hills

A.F.A. in MusicThe Associate of Fine Arts (A.F.A.) in Music provides the foundation you need to pursue a variety of professions in the music industry.

The degree also prepares you earn your Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) in Music or a bachelor’s degree designed to provide the knowledge and skills you need to succeed in the music business.

The A.F.A. in Music is designed to offer you two clear-cut options:

  • Transfer with junior status to a four-year college or university to earn a B.F.A. in Music or a comparable bachelor’s degree
  • Build a meaningful, rewarding career in the music industry

To earn your A.F.A. in Music, you will take 38 credits in music and 30 credits in liberal arts requirements. An internship in your final semester will give you hands-on experience in practical learning while teaching you important skills in networking, resume building, and applying for jobs, grants and exhibitions or to a four-year school.

Linda Chacholiades | 21 Answers


  1. Favorite season: Winter—I love snow!
  2. dddFavorite natural feature (e.g., waterfalls, oceans, mountains, etc.): The vast landscape of the Gila National Forest in New Mexico has it all for me: mountains, desert, rivers, forest.
  3. Favorite sport or physical activity: Horseback riding and playing polo
  4. Your national flower if you could have one: Peony
  5. Place you would most like to visit: I would love to visit many places all over the world—too difficult to select just one, but for right now, Fiji, Patagonia and Iceland intrigue me.
  6. Favorite holiday: Halloween
  7. Your national mammal if you could have one: Thoroughbred
  8. Favorite actor or actress: Gary Oldman and Johnny Depp
  9. Favorite band or performing artist: Difficult question for a musician…The Beatles, Tom Waits, Nina Simone, Bruno Mars, Yuja Wang, Martha Argerich, Sviatoslav Richter to name a few.
  10. aaa_peonyYour personal motto if you had to have one: “Live with integrity. All things are possible.”
  11. Coolest thing in the world: Nature…all of it!
  12. Scariest thing in the world: Greed and jealousy
  13. Favorite all-time TV show: Northern Exposure
  14. Favorite all-time movie: The Princess Bride
  15. One thing you most want to accomplish in life: To live a life full of passion and adventure.
  16. Most precious material possession: My horses, if that qualifies.
  17. First thing you would buy if you won the $1.5 billion Powerball: Would buy a lot of land and have an animal sanctuary.
  18. aaa_lamaDream occupation: My current job as a music educator!
  19. Person you would most like to meet: Dalai Lama
  20. Skill you would most like to learn and master: Anything equestrian-related
  21. Humankind’s greatest challenge: See answer to number 12.
To learn more about taking applied music lessons or earning your A.F.A. in Music at Inver Hills, contact:

Andrew Martin, PhD
Music Faculty

Admissions Team
College Center

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