Teacher Feature: Mr. Lindeblad

Maya Page, School News Editor

Mark Lindeblad, simply known as “Mr. L” by most, has been an accompanist and piano teacher at Glenbard South since 1996. The Independent asked Lindeblad a few questions regarding his career as a pianist within as well as beyond Glenbard walls. 


Question: What inspired your love for music and more specifically the piano?


Mr. Lindeblad: I have always been drawn to the piano, and to other instruments, and singing, like a magnet, probably because my mother was a piano teacher so we had 1 or 2 pianos in the living room during my growing up years. My mom had ‘perfect pitch’ (knowing what a note is named just by hearing it) and we found out so did I!   And I was our church pianist all through high school and college and learned to accompany people there and play lots of styles there and in college.  


Q: How long have you been a pianist? 


Lindeblad: I have been playing since I was 4 years old, so I guess it’s been 60 years.  That’s why it’s 2nd nature now.  


Q: What is your favorite part about being a pianist and accompanist for the choir?


Lindeblad: I think giving kids – students – energy to sing well and to collaborate with the composer and director as well, is a basic motivation for doing this.  


Q: What’s your favorite song you have ever played on piano?


Lindeblad: That’s a hard one, but generally the more interesting and challenging and different a piece is, the more I get into it.  Can’t name a favorite – there are too many.   


Q: What’s your favorite song you’ve ever played as an accompaniment to Glenbard’s choir? 


Lindeblad: We generally do the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel’s Messiah most years for the Holiday concert. (And since we feel good about what we’re the best at)  with all the repetition in rehearsing and performing it — I do that the easiest and feel good about it every time. Besides the message of joy, it brings everything together musically in that there is point/counterpoint expressed and then all the parts coming together in a satisfying way by the end.  So Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus is probably the favorite here at school.


Q: What’s something you do to help yourself learn a difficult piece? 


Lindeblad: Well of course, practice often and live with a piece for awhile, but also listening to a recording if there is any new learning I need to do clearly helps show the way to play it. 


Q: Where do you perform outside of the Glenbard stage?


Lindeblad: I’m also a bassoonist, in fact my two college degrees are in bassoon performance, so I’ve always loved the symphony orchestra world and currently play principal bassoon in the Southwest Symphony, down in the southwest suburbs.  


Q: Where is your dream venue to perform?   


Lindeblad: No specific place, but I’ve learned that I sound the best in a place with good acoustics, which flatter the sound.  So lots of places have good acoustics.


Q: Do you have any words of wisdom for people who want to pursue a career as a musician or in something they’re passionate about?


Lindeblad: Well, I may not give the usual, expected answer of ‘you can do (as a career) whatever you’re passionate enough about’. The truth, in my experience, is that the passion, no matter how deep, is only one ingredient.  A career is about discipline, training, showing up every day whether you feel it or not. It’s about trying to be humble enough to get better and better all the time, actually.  

So it’s about work, more than passion to me, but of course the emotions, the passions are the nice, feel-good result of doing something great really well, which is more the goal. So the short answer is work, work, work really hard, and for years, like it’s your job. 

Mr. Lindeblad is set to retire at the end of the fall 2021 semester. He will continue to teach lessons to students privately at South after school on piano and bassoon. Lindeblad has 2 CDs available, one all Bach and one “feel-good” classical pieceLindeblad plays an arrangement in the choir room. CD called Piano Music for Relaxation.

Lindeblad will have made a lasting impact at Glenbard as a talented, dedicated, and kind mentor for all those within the Glenbard music community.