MEET THE TEACHER
Welcome to “Leading Note Music Studio” where everyone is encouraged to “Explore The Possibilities.” While there are several key components in finding success at the piano, your choice of a piano teacher along with his/her teaching philosophy are two essential considerations for you. So, until we meet face to face, allow me to share my unusual musical adventure with you.
Music and drama, along with anything related to sports, risk and adventure, were the reasons I got out of bed every morning! I started piano lessons in elementary school, but found every reason under the sun to play anything but the notes written on the page! I had a fairly good ear, but the teaching environment I was in wasn’t conducive to improvisation or composing—which my creative mind enjoyed. Piano lessons ended after several failed attempts, however, my musical adventure had only just begun.
Playing by ear was acceptable for our small church, and I became the regular pianist as a teenage. I loved playing the offertory hymn, which allowed me to explore the entire piano as I basked in its beauty.
Music classes in school equipped me with basic note reading, however, everything “basic” exploded when I spontaneously auditioned for the “Meister Singers” in Senior High. The competition was extremely tight. But I was one of two grade 10 girls who made the cut. Musicianship blossomed under Mr. Brown’s expertise. He was a perfectionist, calling us to a standard of excellence that challenged and enticed me. I was also privileged to be a part of a small vocal jazz ensemble with Mr. Brown.
Voice lessons began in earnest. Following high school, I continued as a voice major for three years at a college. I enjoyed conducting, history, harmony and counterpoint, but the hurdle I hit at the piano continued to haunt me. This time quitting was not an option—neither was playing by ear, chording or improvising! To say the least, I had my work cut out for me! While at college I completed my Grade 9 Singing with Royal Conservatory of Music and was well advanced into my Grade 10, but did not do the practical exam. And after college I completed Grade 9 piano.
I would love to say that achieving my Grade 9 piano was a piece of cake . . . but that would be a lie. As a mother of three, I studied with Valerie Putnam for 2 years, and honestly, I bawled at the end of her driveway after every lesson. But I loved teaching piano, and my students were thriving, so I dug deeper, studied harder and immersed myself in every pedagogical resource I could find. My teaching techniques multiplied with every obstacle I encountered.
My students did not go unnoticed! They excelled in Music Festivals and RCM examinations. Dr. Joan Miller (Sister Joan), university professor, adjudicator and RCM examiner, took me under her wing. For two more years I studied private piano and pedagogy with her.
In 2003, I was introduced to teaching group piano lessons. I have taught groups of preschool, elementary, middle school and adults. As you will discover in the “Piano Lessons” tab, I fully enjoy both private and group teaching.
I have taught voice, but I simply enjoy teaching piano so much more. I love, love, love the 88 keys and all that they invite us to explore.
As you can see my musical story is very unique. If you really want to know what gets me excited, check out my philosophy of teaching!