About Us

Our Teachers Provide the Best Possible Education and Practical Training for Our Piano Students

Under the leadership of Dr. Michael Sheadel, The Main Line Conservatory of Music is the perfect environment for serious and gifted young pianists, ages 6 through 18. The school provides the best possible education and practical training necessary for those who wish to pursue a career in music, as well as for music-loving children whose aims are non-professional. The Conservatory also welcomes adult pianists as students.

Read Our History

Dr. Michael Sheadel

For over 35 years, Dr. Michael Sheadel has maintained a career that combines an active performing life with the highest commitment to teaching. He has taught for the Main Line Conservatory since 2006, and the University of Pennsylvania since 2001. In addition to teaching piano, he has coached chamber music and given numerous Master Classes. His students have been winners in the Crescendo International Competition, National League of Performing Arts Competition, American Fine Arts Festival, Tri-County Youth Festival, the Kiszely/Carnegie Hall auditioned recital, and the University of Pennsylvania Concerto Competition. His 2019 lecture, “How to Shape Beautifully,” reflects his central goal in teaching: to maximize each student’s expressive potential.

Dr. Sheadel has performed in the United States and Europe as both soloist and collaborative pianist. He performs throughout the Delaware Valley as a chamber musician, having appeared with the Chestnut Brass Company, Hamilton Duo, Philadelphia Virtuosi, Network for New Music, Orchestra 2001, and the Stockton University Chamber Players. He appears on recordings with the Hamilton Duo, violinist Timothy Schwarz, composer Cynthia Folio, and Orchestra 2001. He has participated in the regional and world premieres of numerous works by living composers.

Dr. Sheadel has served for many years on the Executive Board of the Philadelphia Music Teachers Association, and is currently co-chair of the Dr. Andor and Joy Kiszely recital. He earned degrees in piano performance from the Eastman School of Music, the Peabody Conservatory, and Temple University, and was privileged as a student to perform for Master Classes with Leon Fleisher, John Perry, and Russell Sherman. His principal teachers were Maria Luisa Faini, Walter Hautzig and Harvey Wedeen. He is a former faculty member of Temple University and the Blue Mountain Chamber Music Festival.

Rahel Inniger

Rahel Inniger, pianist, received her “Lehrdiplom” (teaching diploma) in 1979 from the Konservatorium Bern (Switzerland) where she was a student of Rosemarie Stucki. As a recipient of a Kiefer/Hablitzel Stiftung scholarship she was able to come to the United States to continue her education. She majored in piano performance at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York, from which she received a Master of Music degree in Performance and Literature in 1982. Ms. Inniger’s piano teachers at Eastman included Barry Snyder and Barbara Lister-Sink, and chamber music coaches included Abram Loft, Peter Salaff, and Rebecca Penneys. Further studies included vocal accompaniment with Daphne Ibbott in Sussex, England and music pedagogy workshops in Stuttgart and Bad Hersfeld, Germany

Upon her studies Ms. Inniger accepted a teaching position at the Musikschule Kandertal in Frutigen, Switzerland. She also served as accompanist at the Konservatorium Bern in the master classes of clarinetist Jost Michaels and cellist Siegfried Palm and in the studios of clarinet professor Kurt Weber and violin professor Igor Ozim.

In Philadelphia, Ms. Inniger is on the faculty at Settlement Music School where she teaches both piano and chamber music. She also maintains a private studio at her home in Ardmore PA.

Rahel is a founding member of Elysian Camerata as well as a member of the New Bridge Ensemble in Switzerland.

Stephanie Ben-Salem

A native Philadelphian, Stephanie Ben-Salem studied at the Settlement Music School where she received numerous awards, and at age 14 attained the senior graduate level. She received a full academic scholarship to Carnegie-Mellon University studying under Eugene List, and later graduated from the Manhattan School of Music, studying with Karl Ulrich Schnabel. Ms. Ben-Salem studied with renowned pianist Aldo Ciccolini from 2008 until his death in 2015.

Over the years, she has given many solo and orchestral performances throughout the US and Europe. She performs in various chamber groups as well as a piano duo.

Ms. Ben-Salem has taught piano privately since 1979 and was a member of the piano faculty of the Settlement Music School from 1998 until 2022. Many of her students continue in the field of music as educators and performers, having attended first rate conservatories such as Juilliard, Manhattan School of Music, Peabody Conservatory, Yale University and the Curtis Institute of Music.

Ms. Ben-Salem holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Piano Performance, a Master’s Degree in Education from LaSalle University, and the Master of Music in Piano Performance from Temple University, where she studied with Dr. Charles Abramovic.


Read What Parents Are Saying About Our Teachers

Read What Parents Are Saying About The Main Line Conservatory And Its Teachers.

“MLC turned our son into a musician. The atmosphere is focused and professional while also nurturing to the individual. Our son thrived under Dr. Sheadel's instruction, which was meticulous and inspiring.”

― Clairon Palmer, parent

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