Teaching and Testimonials
I have been teaching in some capacity since I was sixteen. First
I taught swimming lessons which later also included coaching a synchronized
swimming team. In my twenties, it turned to soccer.
My career as piano teacher also began in my early twenties - the
result of a bit of good fortune for me due to the medical misfortune
of someone else. I was hired at the Toon Shop in Prairie Village,
Kansas and taught there happily for 6 years.
Yet this need to play and master the piano kept calling out to me.
I needed to find a way to balance teaching and performing. Thus, I
returned to school and was fortunately accepted at the Eastman School
I have been teaching at the University
of New Orleans since 1990. It is an interesting place with the
full range of student body one might expect from a large urban university.
But for me it has been a great teaching experience. I am challenged
daily to find ways to explain the mysteries of music and especially
how to teach students to play with technical ease and fluidity.
It has become my "specialty" so-to-speak. I often work
with students who for one reason or another are technically tied in
knots. I love the challenge of helping them sort out the crossed connections
and I have watched student after student ease up and let the music
flow through with natural grace.
I think this is my true calling in teaching. Just as I learned to
play with ease and grace thanks to the excellent teachers who surrounded
and guided me towards important revelations, I now impart this to
others. I had chosen Eastman because of Rebecca Penneys, who was reputed
to "fix technical" problems. She gave me my first insights
into how the body moves through the music. I must also add, however,
that other teachers, including Richard Cass, Ruth Anne Rich, James
Avery, Anton Nel and John Elliott each gave me important insights
which, in turn, have helped me to form my own musical language and