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How to EnterCompany: Piano Play Music Systems, Inc.
Company Description: Piano Play ,is an award winning educational music learning center with three locations in the Southern California region. PPMS has created its own in-house product lines of music method books, Audio CD's, software and other learning materials for children ages ranging from 19 months to adults. PPMS has been in business for 23 years and plans to franchise in other states.
Nomination Category: Individual Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Best Entrepreneur – Service Businesses - Up to 100 Employees

Nomination Title: Sharon Shaheed, President & CEO

Describe for the judges the activities and accomplishments of the nominated entrepreneur during the eligibility period (up to 500 words):

With a small loan from her mom of $1100, and a dream to give the gift of music to
all, back in 1986, Sharon Shaheed   formed her modest company, Piano Play.
Noticing in her group music classes that younger siblings that attended classes
knew almost as much as their older siblings, she did a countless amount of
research in the music publishing world,  to find that there were no music books for
younger  children that could break down music terminologies and objectives in a
simplistic way. Her thoughts were, when in need, create it yourself. Indeed she
has.The “Piano Play Method” is  notably  the first African American music
methodology piano pedagogy based learning system of its kind with 23 books(
which include music books and activity/work books) and other layered learning
educational products such as flashcards, audio CD’s , and software for kids . The
music classes themselves provide a nurturing atmosphere which combines,
keyboard geography, music theory, music appreciation, storytelling, singing,
dancing, ear training and note reading all in a class.  Each class level is age
specific to create an even better classroom dynamic.  The program is a brain
research based program for learning readiness. 

As a trailblazer in music education, Sharon and her partner have reached out to
community and worked in conjunction with the Braille Institute utilizing the Piano
Play method to teach piano to visually impaired kids. Sharon is also the co-
founder of KeyLife Foundation, the non-profit organization which works with
mainstreaming special needs kids( primarily autistic) and gives scholarships to
provide free piano lessons.  Sharon hosts an annual concert, called the Young
Performer Concert Series on behalf of KeyLife Foundation that raises money on
their behalf.

Sharon has been a selected speaker at the California Women’s Conference, and
on Oprah & Friends Radio talk show with Dr. Robyn Smith. Other notable media
include: winners of Make Mine a Million program sponsored by OPEN from
American Express, Los Angeles Magazine Best of LA (Best Music School ), City
Baby LA, Family Magazine’s Family Choice winner for Best Music Instruction and
Best Piano Lessons in Southern California and a segment on, “ Makin’ It”, a
feature of Fox 11 News on successful minority businesses, and the Los angeles
County Board of Supervisors cited Piano Play for its important contributions,
among a host of other attirubutes.

Even through the current economic times, the company because of its demand to
diversify into other areas of the Southern California region, managed to open two
additional company owned offices in Woodland Hills, CA and Pasadena, CA.

Through the fearless efforts of the Co-Founder and President, in 2011, the
company plans to expand even more and franchise into other California areas and
states. The company has had an increase of almost 35% in staff over the last year
and enjoyed a double digit growth rate in revenue. 

List the URLs (web addresses) of any online news stories, press releases, or other documents that you would like the judges to see that support your nomination. IMPORTANT: List each URL on a separate line, begin each URL with http://, and enclose each URL in square brackets. For example, [http://www.yourcompany.com/pressrelease.html]:

http://articles. latimes.com/1997/nov/01business/fi-48897

Provide a brief biography of the nominated entrepreneur (up to 100 words):

Sharon Shaheed, CEO , Co-Founder & President of Piano Play oversees the
development of all educational products and programs to consumers. With a 20+
year old track record as a music educator, Sharon helped in developing the music
curriculum used for the Hillsborough County School District in Tampa, Florida and
has taught music classes in the past for the LAUSD. Currently, she is the VP of
Programming for the San Fernanado East Valley Branch Music Teachers' Assn. of
California. Her educational background includes a Bachelor's of Music Education
and a minor in Voice from Xavier University and a Masters in Piano Performance
and Minor in Piano Pedagogy from Southeastern University in Hammond, LA.

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