Susan’s goal in teaching music is to provide a positive educational atmosphere in which students will be encouraged and move toward the fulfillment of their maximum potential for growth. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in History from Duke University in Durham, NC. Susan continued her studies in music education at the Mississippi University for Women and completed her Educator Preparation Institute (EPI) teacher certification K-6 in 2013 from Gulf Coast State College. She has a vast experience of teaching including:
· Lead Preschool Teacher, SRB Community Church, Santa Rosa Beach, FL
· Tutor, Grades K-4, Freeport Elementary School, Freeport FL
· Substitute Teacher, Walton County School District, Defuniak Springs, FL
· Teaching Assistant, Grades 7-8, Academic Tutor, Grades K-8, Destin Christian Academy, Destin, FL.
· Piano Instructor, Owner of Gracehouse Music Studio, Grades K-8, Baton Rouge, LA, August 2004 -- June 2006
· 2007—Present, as Part-time Music Director, church pianist, worship leader, and choir director, Safe Harbor Presbyterian Church, Destin, FL
Susan has always enjoyed music, and besides occasionally singing with her musician-father, she played the violin in school orchestras from elementary school through high school, and she sang in school and church choirs, including an All-State Choir and an award-winning Concert Choir that traveled to competitions in the US and Bermuda. Susan also performed lead roles in musicals and for special events, such as singing "The Star-Spangled Banner" as a soloist for a college (Duke University) basketball game. She also served on praise teams in college and at her church, and after she graduated from college, Susan won a regional Contemporary Christian Musician (CCM) singing competition.
After Susan married her husband, James, they moved to Mississippi, and she began studying music education and taking piano and voice classes at a local college, MUW. Eventually she was asked to lead an adult choir, children’s choir, and handbell choir at their church. In the years since then, at different ministry locations, Susan continued to lead choirs, share special music, and study piano with various skilled piano teachers. When James became the pastor of a church in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Susan opened “Gracehouse Music Studio,” a piano studio for beginning pianists. In 2006, James became the pastor of Safe Harbor Presbyterian Church (PCA), in Destin, Florida, where Susan has served as a pianist and part-time Music Director for almost 14 years.
In addition to music ministry and music education, Susan began substitute teaching part-time in Walton County, and then sought to grow as an educator, and entered the EPI program at Gulf Coast State University, eventually earning her Florida Teaching Certificate (EPI) for Elementary Education, Grades K-6. She has worked part-time locally in elementary education as a Title I Tutor and in early childhood education as a Preschool Teacher.
As an avocation, Susan has also worked at songwriting through the years, and has nine copyrighted albums, including three simple, live demo albums and more than a dozen videos online at Reverbnation.com (reverbnation.com/susancalderazzo) that were recorded live at Safe Harbor Presbyterian (PCA) Church in Destin.