Kate Sara Chittenden

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Kate Sara Chittenden (17 April 1856 – 16 Sept 1949) was an American professor of music, music school founder, and piano teacher.

Chittenden was born in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. She is best known for (i) originating a form of piano instruction known as synthetic piano method, (ii) serving as the founding dean of the American Institute of Applied Music in New York City, and (iii) heading the piano department at Vassar College for 31 years, where, upon retirement, she was awarded professor emeritus status. Newspapers also attribute her as the first woman lecturer employed by the Board of Education for New York City Schools, serving from 1892 to 1919.[1] Chittenden was the organist and choir director at Calvary Baptist Church in New York City for twenty-seven years, and died in New York City. One of her notable pupils was the Canadian organist and conductor Paul Ambrose.



Although Kate was born in Hamilton, Ontario, her parents were United States citizens. She was the daughter of Curtis Strong Chittenden, a dentist born in Shelburne, Vermont. One of Kate Chittenden's ancestors, William Chittenden (1593–1660), was one of six founders of Guilford, Connecticut, in 1639; and another ancestor, Thomas Chittenden (1730–1797), was the first Governor of Vermont.[2]

External links[edit]


  • Who Was Who in America, A companion biographical reference work to Who's Who in America, Volume 2, 1943-1950, A.N. Marquis Co., Chicago (1963)

Inline citations

  1. ^ Kate Chittenden Dies in New York, Springfield Union, Sept 17, 1949
  2. ^ Kate Chittenden, Taught at Vassar – Emeritus Professor of Music, Head of Piano Department for 31 Years, Dies at 93, The New York Times, Sept. 17, 1949