I grew up in Thunder Bay Ontario and studied privately with several teachers at the Avila Music Centre and later in Nova Scotia where I live today.
I was very involved in band in my high school and played oboe there as well as in the Thunder Bay Youth Symphony Orchestra. Music was a big part of my life growing up and should be a part of every child’s life!
I consider myself more a coach than a teacher, always looking for something new and innovative to motivate my students and help them find their musical paths. Regular performance and competitive opportunities are available as well as provincial exams in which my students excel.
How it Began:
In 1992 I decided to start teaching piano. I began by qualifying as a Music for Young Children teacher, continuing private studies and attending workshops. I began teaching groups of children. In moving some of my students to private lessons I discovered they learned much more quickly and I was able to develop a stronger relationship with them. I phased out group lessons over the next couple of years and moved to teaching private only.
I decided my students needed more challenges and options so in 1999 I founded the South West Nova Music Festival which was Nova Scotia’s only bilingual music competition. Children could get adjudicated in the official language of their choice and enter various classes in strings voice and piano.
For five years I also directed and organized Les Jeunes Clarions, an Acadian Youth Choir for ages 9 – 16. Children learned to sing a capella and in up to four-part harmony.
Technology is something I have often taken advantage of, along with the standard books to help students learn theory I have also used computer-based theory games and customized links for each student and in 2016 I found yet another technology-based tool that would help students with their practicing at home as well as motivate them even further.
I qualified as a Piano Marvel teacher – the first in the Maritimes, and the first certified teacher in Canada. This is an interactive digital program that helps students learn 4-8 times faster which ultimately saves parents on lessons. With this program, many components of a standard lesson can be handled at home by the student thereby minimizing the time needed with the teacher to fine tune repertoire. With this new technology, it became possible to re-visit teaching semi-private and small group lessons which could be completely individualized for the students. This offers the student some valuable interactions with other students during lesson time, as well as allowing them their private instruction time. And they get 45 -60 supervised minutes per week instead of 30 at the same cost as private lessons.