Michael C. Miller

Aspiring Composer and Pianist

Michael C. Miller

Michael C. Miller (b. 1981) was raised in South Haven, IN by Michael and Robin Miller. His father was a millwright at U.S. Steel and his mother was a homemaker and held various jobs during Michael's upbringing. He had three siblings, two brothers and a sister, all of whom are younger.

Michael began his musical education very young. His grandfather on his mother's side frequently listened to jazz, such as works by Duke Ellington, while Michael would stay with him over the summer months. The piano always stood out to Michael. While staying at the Westin Hotel in Chicago with his grandfather, affectionately called "Boompa," Michael was in awe at a beautiful ebony grand piano that was in the lobby. He felt it calling his name and he wanted to play it, but due to fears of reprisal from hotel employees, he did not.

Additionally, his mother loved to sing and played a wide variety of pop songs. He also received formal musical training starting in elementary school and continued through high school, and he had the ability to play melodies by ear. Although the Miller family did not own a piano, they did own a small organ that he would occasionally play. He also began composing at the age of 12, but not in the strictest sense of the word. He would add chords to melodies he heard in pop songs or pieces he played on the recorder. It was not until he was 15 he began to study piano formally (this late start continues to haunt him) and his aunt offered him a piano she had inherited. He practiced nearly 72 hours a week for the last three-and-a-half years of high school. He was (and still is) particularly fond of music by Scriabin, Rachmaninoff, Liszt, Chopin, and Prokofiev. He also would spend any available time in the school library, reading about composers and music theory. He held a deep desire to become a concert pianist, but by his final year in high school, he realized this was unrealistic and decided to attend university.

In January of 2001, he entered Indiana University Northwest (IUN) as a secondary education mathematics major. Before that, and during his first semester at IUN, he worked full-time at a casino while attending his classes full time, which eventually caused him to literally pass out in one of his classes. After this, he decided to focus solely on his studies and work less. He also changed his major several times before graduating with a B.S. degree in mathematics (chemistry minor). While at IUN, one lecture room had a piano in it that he would often play.

After graduation in 2005, he began teaching at a college, and later, at a high school, to which he was extremely devoted, often spending extra hours during the school days and vacations. During his teaching career, he helped the school get off of academic probation and helped 90 percent of his freshman students his last two years as a teacher pass their state examination in algebra. While at the high school, he had access to a small auditorium with a piano in it he would often play after school and, later, the music director gave him access to a practice room with a grand piano.

In terms of his own education, he also began to pursue his master's degree in educational administration in hopes of becoming an administrator. In August of 2011, in his last year as a master's degree student, he also began to pursue his doctoral degree in educational leadership. His last year at the high school (2011-2012) was spent as a quasi-school leader/administrator. Sadly, factors conspired against him that forced him out; as a result of this, he entered a severe depression and suffered a nervous breakdown. This would lead to several other unpleasant events.

In October of 2013, he was fortunate to obtain a grand piano for free, and this is where his serious composition production began. He completed his Op. 1, Prelude de Morte the same month and began to work on other works soon after, including his first piano sonata (Op. 2) in D# minor. Over time, he hopes his works become better and better. He currently models his compositions after Rachmaninoff, Scriabin, Chopin, and Liszt, among others.

He resides in Whting, IN and is married to Sara Miller (nee Morando). He has no children (yet) but does have a dog, Snickers.


Music is a form of ultimate expression.

Music is a form of ultimate expression.

Works 
2013
Op. 1 Prelude de Morte (completed)
Op. 2 Piano Sonata No. 1 (D-sharp minor, completed)
Op. 3 Two Short Pieces for Piano (completed)
Op. 4 Prelude (completed)
Op. 5 Elegie (completed)
Op. 6 Intermezzo (completed- 2014)
Op. 7 Two Short Pieces for Piano (completed)
Op. 8 Four Preludes (completed)
Op. 9 Poème (completed - 2014)

2014
Op. 10 Cynicisms (completed)
Op. 11 Deux Morceux (completed) 
Op. 12 Deux Poèmes (completed)
Op. 13 Two Bagatelles (completed)
Op. 14 Piano Sonata No. 2 (completed)
Op. 15 Deux Preludes (completed)
Op. 16 Piano Sonata No. 3 (D minor, completed in summer 2014/submitted 4/2015) 

2015 
Op. 17, Five Short Pieces for Piano (completed)
Op. 18, Twenty-Four Preludes (in progress--most finished--will resume work summer 2016)
Op. 19, Short Piece for Piano and Cello (completed) 
Op. 20, Piano Sonata No. 4 (completed; started 4/12/15; completed 5/2/2015/being revised, started 5/2/2016)
Op. 21, Two Short Pieces for Piano (completed)

2016

Op. 22, Piano Sonata Nr. 5 (completed on 4.20.16) 
Op. 23, Six Short Preludes for Piano (completed)

2017
Op. 24, Piano Sonata Nr. 6 (in progress)
Op. 25, Deux Preludes (in progress)
Op. 26, Piano Sonata Nr. 7 (in progress)
Op. 27, Deux Poèmes (in progress)