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 of Music.

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 teaching style.