I learned the Piano from the age of 7, initially taught by my mother Norma, also a professional music teacher. I experienced the power of music throughout childhood and adolescence, as my family were and are all musical, (my niece currently studies at the Conservatorium of Tasmania, B.Mus. in Classical Performance)
My forbears were all involved in making music, encompassing community dance bands, church music, playing the organ or singing at home around the Piano.
I progressed through the AMEB exam system from early grades to Grade 8, and enjoyed the challenge of presenting Music as a First Level subject for HSC. This lead me to the award of a scholarship to train as a High School Music teacher at the NSW State Conservatorium of Music (now known as Sydney Conservatorium of Music).
I studied four years full time at the Conservatorium, Piano and Cello being my main practical subjects. The course included many subjects( History of Music, Music Education in the classroom, Conducting, Arranging music, Acoustics, Electronic music, Composing, Classical, Baroque, Romantic and Modern stylistic applications, various methods of Technique, Psychology, etc) and in addition practice teaching periods in both Primary and Secondary schools. I was awarded a Dip. Mus. Ed with Merit. (Diploma in Music Education)
My Piano teachers at the Conservatorium included Isador Goodman and Frangcon Davies, Albert Landa and Margaret Hughes.; Cello teachers included Cedric Ashton and John Painter. During this period, I also started private piano and cello teaching.
After graduation, I gained more experience teaching Music in the State School system, (T.C. Teacher’s Certificate Education Department) encompassing Co-Ed, boys and girls only and Private schools. I taught all levels ( elective and non-elective) up to and including HSC music. I enjoyed teaching extracurricular activities, for example, leading school bands, arranging music for concert performances, producing musicals and organising school orchestras. I was also engaged as a private piano and ‘cello teacher in the Private school system.
I started my own professional music studio in Oatley 29 years ago. I have benefited from my school teaching experience in many ways, not least understanding the varying stages of growth in children and how this affects their tuition.
Many students have passed through this studio leaving with an enjoyment of music for life. Others have succeeded very well in their exam results, both Piano and Cello Students most usually achieving a grading of A+( distinction), A (Honours), B+ (Credit plus) and B (Credit).
Twenty years ago, I gained further qualifications in Piano pedagogy. This lead to an AMEB award, the ‘Associate of Teacher of Music, Australia’, known as the A. T. Mus. A.
I am a full member of the Music Teacher’s Association of NSW (MMTA of NSW) and have accreditation as a teacher in both Piano and ‘Cello. I achieved recognition as an alumna of the University of Sydney in 2011.
I appreciate the importance of attending Music Teacher Conferences and workshops, and seeking the wisdom of experienced music examiners, thereby keeping up to date. The same applies to reading various music periodicals.
I must emphasise that only I teach in my studio here. The instruction is not contracted out to other teachers. My teaching room here is most spacious with a creative atmosphere, and is dedicated to a single purpose, that of music education.
Students have gone on to study Music at University and continued it as a career. Others have gained a qualification related specifically to teaching the Piano. Some have turned to composing for an interest or career, whilst others have completed song writing courses and joined bands or orchestras.
Students are offered the opportunity to perform in community events, Eisteddfods and MTA competitions. Some students have competed annually in the Music Teacher’s Association of NSW (MTA of NSW) music performance festivals. The results have been most pleasing with the achievement of First places (trophies), 3rd places (trophies), excellent accompanying written reports and other highly commended awards.
I have a ‘Working with Children’ check, which is now required by law for people who work with children under 18. WWCC involves a national police check. This body provides and regulates quality, child safe environments. (Office of the Children’s Guardian, NSW Government).