What do you teach at the Con?
What genres do you teach?
What is it that you love about teaching music – particularly at Wollongong Conservatorium?
I love sharing my passion for music with young children who are just beginning their musical lives. Equally, I enjoy refining the musical skills of more advanced players as their love for music grows. We are so lucky at Gleniffer Brae to learn music in such beautiful and inspiring surroundings.
Please share a particular career highlight and why it’s special to you.
My career highlight was an early one – playing a piano solo in the Sydney Opera House as a teenager.
It was special to me because I was the first NSW public school student ever selected to play a solo in the annual public schools’ concert series. As a teacher, the biggest highlights have been witnessing the thrill of students who have worked hard and finally achieved significant milestones.
I was a part-time Braille transcriber for several years at Vision Australia. While my specialisation was music Braille, I also transcribed general English Braille and the occasional foreign language textbook. I enjoyed attending the National Braille Music Camps, where Braille users from around Australia spend a week making music and learning music Braille.
For me, learning the piano as a child sparked a desire to learn more about where this music came from – western Europe, different periods of history, different cultures and languages. I was lucky to have the opportunity to lead several music tours to Europe for Academy Travel. Since I speak German, these tours focussed mainly on the music, history and culture of Germany and Austria.
Learning classical music truly opened up the world to me, and as a teacher, my number one goal is to nurture students in developing a love for music that will inspire them, emotionally comfort them, intellectually challenge them, and perhaps open doors to other career paths, as it did for me.
What’s one piece of music that you’d recommend people listen to?
Requiem, Op. 90/7 by Schumann, sung by Bernarda Fink, or Rachmaninoff, Op. 18 Piano Concerto No. 2, 1st movement.