My interest in piano was piqued at age 5 when a door-to-door salesman showed me a digital keyboard. I loved all the buttons that played a variety of riffs and tunes like ‘Oh When the Saints’. My parents promptly signed me up for lessons.
Growing up, I studied with Caron Chilton in Guelph who helped me reach Grade 8 in the Royal Conservatory of Music system and encouraged me to participate in the local Kiwanis Music Festival regularly. When I turned 16 I studied with Anya Laurence and Andreas Thiel in Kitchener, Ontario before being accepted at age 18 into the Music Programme at Wilfrid Laurier University in 2001.
At WLU I completed a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance under the mentorship of Dr. James Parker and Professor Anya Alexeyev. While the degree was centred on performance, piano pedagogy (teaching) was another important component of study. I also majored in Music History and was a music critic for the Cord, our university newspaper.
Having a passion for traveling, I later spent a year abroad living in Heidelberg, Germany as an exchange student. During this time I worked as a camp counsellor, studied German, accompanied a local voice studio and sang in choirs where I gained a passion for choral music.
Returning to Canada in 2007, I began a three-year intensive study of choral music, beginning with a two-semester apprenticeship with Dr. Lee Willingham of WLU. I then moved to St. John’s, Newfoundland where I completed a two-year Masters Programme in Choral Conducting under the supervision of Dr. Douglas Dunsmore at Memorial University of Newfoundland (2010). I was also a busy accompanist in St. John’s, collaborating with the ‘Philharmonic Choir of the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra,’ the Choirs of ‘Shallaway,’ as well as doing regular playing with local musicians including ‘The River Connected’, who were featured on CBC Radio 2’s ‘The Signal’ during the ‘Sound-Symposium 2010’ festival in St. John’s. Newfoundland was a musically-rich time in my life as I also managed a studio of 18 piano students and was the Music Director at St. Michael’s Anglican Church.
In Southern Ontario, I’ve had the honour to be hosted by many reputable venues as a soloist and chamber musician. I have been a guest performer in the ‘St. Andrew’s Music at Noon’ recital series where I fondly remember playing the Franck Violin Sonata in 2008 with my colleague, Katie Gannon. I’ve also performed at the ‘Wellington County Museum Concert Series,’ and the ‘Music Room of the Kitchener-Waterloo Chamber Music Society.‘
Unfortunately, like many professional musicians, I’ve had direct experience with performance injury. The good news is I’ve recovered and am all the wiser for it. Working with professionals who specialize in modalities such the Dorothy Taubman Method, Alexander Technique, Body Mapping, and Biofeedback, I have gained a much better understanding of anatomy and movement than I had before. The most meaningful thing to come out of this challenge is that I am able to help my students in a much more effective way than had I not been injured.
It is my privilege to be able to teach piano lessons among the many talented people in the Guelph, Ontario community. As a piano teacher my aim is to foster a love of music with my students by zoning in on their unique needs. There is no ‘one size fits all’ approach. I also encourage my students to improve their musical ear, learn basic theory, to be creative, and play music that inspires them.
My favourite musicians include Rachmaninoff, Chopin, and Iron Maiden!