Mrs. Crystal Huss
Adjunct Professor of Piano
Crystal hails from Charlotte, North Carolina and is a 2nd generation graduate of CCU. She began her formal music training at the age of 10 under the direction of Lillian Damazo. At 14, she was ranked among the top 3 jr. pianists in Charlotte and in the top 20 for NC. Crystal’s exposure as a performer was increasing and at 16 yrs. old, she left Mrs. Damazo to study with composer and noted pedagogue, Randall Hartsell. She soon learned, however, that Mr. Hartsell’s focus was on beginning and intermediate students and she needed an advanced teacher who could prepare her for a college music program. Mr. Hartsell highly recommended Latvian pianist, Dzidra Reimannis, to coach Crystal through her senior year of high school.
Crystal’s practice schedule was more intense than most students her age. A typical week of practice would consist of 5-6 hrs/day Monday-Friday and 7-8 hrs/day on weekends. Unfortunately, such extended hours of constant playing caused massive physical problems for her hands and in the spring of her senior year, she was told by an orthopedic specialist to “pick a new hobby because you won’t be a pianist.” This news was devastating on so many levels as she had focused with such intensity to be a performer. Recommendations from trusted friends led her to Dr. Alan Ward, orthopedic surgeon specializing in hand and arm abnormalities and dysfunctions. Dr. Ward labeled Crystal as a musical athlete and took her on as a patient, renewing her confidence that she would continue to play.
She enrolled at CCU as a piano major and had her first of three hand surgeries over Christmas break her freshman year. Crystal took on part-time teaching positions in music studios around the Cincinnati area beginning in her sophomore year. Her teaching experiences helped to segue her initial goal of stage performance to a passion for piano pedagogy and a desire to prevent other students from having to endure the same physical pain brought on by poor technique and misuse.
Crystal enrolled in the Master of Music program at East Carolina University where her pedagogical studies with Dr. Kerry Carlin focused on injury-preventative techniques for beginning and intermediate piano students. After successfully completing the program with a 4.0, she opened her own private studio and became heavily involved with the North Carolina Music Teachers Association, serving as Vice President of the Greenville (NC) chapter.
Crystal and her husband, Davon, have been married since 1998. They have held ministries in NC, VA, and LA; and are currently ministering with the Pleasant Ridge Church of Christ in Rising Sun, IN. They have 2 sets of twin boys: Alex, Andy, Zach, and Zane; all of whom are homeschooled and involved in various performing arts. One of their children has Aspergers, or high-functioning autism. Having a child with special needs has made Crystal more attuned to various learning styles. She strives to adapt concepts and techniques so that they can be easily understood by each individual student, whether they are visual, auditory, or kinesthetic learners, while maintaining a focus on injury prevention.
After 17 years of private studio teaching, Crystal returned to CCU in 2011 to teach Applied Piano Piano and Proficiency Studio to minors and electors on a part-time basis. She considers it a privilege to prepare students for a lifetime of healthy musical enjoyment and ministry.
• MM Piano Pedagogy, December 1998
East Carolina University, Greenville, NC
Inducted into Pi Kappa Lambda, Summa Cum Laude
• BM Church Music and Piano Performance, May 1996
Cincinnati Christian University, Cincinnati, OH
Recipient of Church Music Award
• Studies in performing arts medicine, specifically injury-preventative techniques for
• Studies in pedagogical techniques and literature for beginning and intermediate students
• Piano studies with Lillian Damazo, Randall Hartsell, Dzidra Reimannis, Howard Helvey,
and Dr. Kerry Carlin
• Live radio solo performance on WBT 1110 (Charlotte, NC)
• Studio work on solo album: In His Presence
• Pianist for Solid Rock and Come Alive teams sponsored by CCU
• Music Teachers National Association
• Ohio Music Teachers Association
• Pi Kappa Lambda (National Music Honor Society)
• Voices of Indiana Board of Directors
• Applied Piano Lessons for Minors and Electors
• Piano Proficiency Studio
• Telephone: 513-244-8188
• Cell: 812-571-0918