Gordon College logo
Gordon College Logo
Jessica Modaff

Jessica Modaff

Assistant Teaching Professor in Music

Collaborative Pianist; Vocal and Instrumental Coach

B.M. Wheaton College (IL)
M.M. Boston University
D.M.A. Boston University

Areas of expertise:


Jessica Modaff, Assistant Teaching Professor in Music, is a collaborative pianist, music theorist, and vocal/instrumental coach. Dr. Modaff has held coach and professional collaborative pianist positions for numerous choirs and individual performers throughout the United States, as well as England, France, Russia, Slovenia and Austria. She has accompanied at contests and events for ACDA, NATS, IMEA, IHSA, MMEA and Stars at Symphony Hall, performing in venues such as Boston's Symphony Hall and New York's Avery Fischer Hall. She is continually sought after for her versatility at the piano and offers this same multi-genre expertise in her coaching studio and in the classroom. At Gordon College, Dr. Modaff teaches all levels of music theory, 20thCentury music history, and chamber music. She previously served on the applied and classroom teaching faculties of the Children's Music Center (Jamaica Plain, MA) and the Wheaton Yamaha Music School (Wheaton, IL) where she received certification as a Yamaha Music Education instructor. 

With a keen ear and extensive knowledge of music notation, Dr. Modaff also specializes in transcription and arranging. She teaches the entire undergraduate aural skills sequence at Gordon, and also maintains a YouTube channel where most of her theatre piano accompaniments are learned and performed by ear. Jessica is an experienced theatre musician. She has recently been the Music Director and conductor/pianist for several Gordon Theatre productions including She Loves Me, The Last Five Years, and The Mystery of Edwin Drood. She has additionally held pianist/director and worship leader positions at various theatres, performance ensembles, and churches. Currently she is serving in the Highrock network of churches in greater Boston where she also consults as a coach, worship leader, and arranger.

Jessica holds both Doctor of Musical Arts and Master of Music degrees in collaborative piano from the Boston University College of Fine Arts, as well as a Bachelor of Music in piano performance from the Wheaton College Conservatory of Music. Her primary teachers include Shiela Kibbe and Daniel Paul Horn. Dr. Modaff’s recent research has focused on the sociological contextualization of women’s issues in art song texts, as well as the impact of gender roles on 20thcentury American composers. As a performer, she specializes in playing duo and trio repertoire for both vocal and instrumental mediums. Dr. Modaff performs regularly in faculty recital settings at Gordon, collaborates with the Theatre Arts Department and Chapel Office, and has acted as a music coach and accompanist to hundreds of Gordon students and ensembles since joining the music faculty in 2008.