Stage performance is only one of many shapes that a person’s experience of music can take. Anyone that’s matched Freddy Mercury note for note in the shower can attest that it just feels good to sing, with or without a soul to hear it. If you sit at a piano for a few minutes to see if your fingers remember that Disney song you learned when you were 8, or if you strum just a few sounds on that guitar you picked up at a pawn shop x years ago, you’ve experienced the curiosity and inspiration that music invites. Hearing a child of any age play with pride for their friends and family is heartwarming, whether it’s Rachmaninoff or the alphabet song.
Music can serve us in so many ways! Camaraderie, catharsis, cognitive development; a reason to claim time for one’s self as much as to share time with others; a tool in education that supports alternative learning styles. I teach voice and piano, which I believe (admittedly with bias) are the two most fundamental means of communicating and understanding music. In piano, the intellect is stimulated as much as is musical sensibility, and the sheer logic in the layout of the instrument is perfect for learning the basics of music theory as it applies to all instruments. In singing, one develops a connection to the self that really can’t be paralleled. The uniqueness of each person’s body and history are is invariably expressed in the nuances of the voice, and discovering the ‘how’s and ‘why’s can be an enlightening adventure.
I’m honoured to be able to guide students of all ages through the development of their musical potential; seeing personalities emerge, inspiration stoked, different musical genres explored, and cognitive function or self-awareness evolve is as inspiring for myself as the person I get to teach. Possibly more so. To quote an oft-quoted man: "It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.” ~ Albert Einstein
LESSON METHOD: PIANO
I base piano lessons on method books that are in accordance with the age and ability of the student, however I believe that integrating songs that inspire the individual is important for motivation. This approach applies to students of all ages; why play if not to make music we enjoy playing and feel achievement in? (Not to say that lesson books aren’t inspiring.) I help in finding pre-existing arrangements of students’ favourite tunes at an appropriate level of ease/difficulty, however I more often write arrangements tailored to the students’ exact current skill level, and of songs that may be more obscure.
LESSON METHOD: VOICE
As every human body is unique, so is every lesson. I teach the fundamental techniques that apply to all methods of singing, with a strong focus on the physical element, and how habits in life - whether beneficial or inhibitive - affect the voice. It’s essentially a wholistic approach to voice lessons. I prefer to work with songs of the student’s preference, as the concepts we address (breath support, posture and anatomy, resonance and range, etc.) can generally be applied to most songs.