Carnegie Mellon University

School of Music

Where artistry and innovation share center stage

Amy  Simpson

Dr. Amy Simpson

Piano Division, Music

5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213


Dr. Amy M. Simpson is a pianist, teacher, and former church musician residing in the Pittsburgh area. She received her DMA in Piano Performance from West Virginia University and her M.M. from Carnegie Mellon University as a student of Dr. Peter Amstutz and Mr. Ralph Zitterbart. She holds undergraduate degrees from Seton Hill University in Piano Performance and from Westminster College in Mathematics and Computer Science.

As a performer, Dr. Simpson performed Beethoven’s Fifth Piano Concerto with the Edgewood Symphony. She was also featured with the West Virginia University Orchestra in Stravinsky’s Symphony in Three Movements. As accompanist for tubist, Philip VanOuse, she was a winner of the Pittsburgh Concert Society Audition. Most recently, she was featured as an alumna soloist in Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto #2 at Westminster College.

Currently, Dr. Simpson is an Adjunct Instructor at West Virginia University teaching Piano Literature, and she serves as an Instructor for the WVU Community Music Program. She has enjoyed teaching piano privately for over 30 years. Dr. Simpson has served as a staff accompanist at Carnegie Mellon and Point Park Universities and accompanied faculty recitals at Duquesne and Slippery Rock Universities. She has performed chamber programs around the area, including for Symphony East, Ghost Ranch Conference Center, and Trombino Piano Gallerie. Most recently, she performed a Ukraine-benefit concert for Chatham University. She has also taught a variety of music history courses at CCAC. Prior to completing her music education, Dr. Simpson was employed as a computer programmer for Allegheny Ludlum Corporation.

Dr. Simpson presents her doctoral research on music perception, practice, and memorization on local university campuses and to music organizations around the country in order to bring current research findings to practicing musicians. At WVU, Dr. Simpson’s dissertation won both the Faculty-Mentored Research Award and the Mary Ferer Award for Outstanding Doctoral Research.

For some 30 years, Dr. Simpson served Newlonsburg and Sewickley Presbyterian churches as a pianist, contemporary ensemble director, and children’s choir director. She collaborated as a musician for two national Presbyterian conferences at Ghost Ranch Conference Center. In this capacity, she has written and arranged worship music, including an arrangement for the 2012 PCUSA General Assembly held in Pittsburgh. 

Dr. Simpson resides in Murrysville, PA with her husband Jim, retired engineer, and amateur clarinetist.  They have two adult sons, Timothy and Stephen.