One chilly day in 8th grade,  I walked into my piano teacher's house and she asked me if I had ever thought about teaching piano.  By 9th grade, I had 10 students and continued to teach  throughout high school  My goal of becoming a band director took me to the University of Nebraska where I realized I liked the trumpet but loved the piano and it was going to be my musical focus.   Shortly after moving to Minneapolis in 1979,  the Yamaha Music School hired me as an instructor.  The training I received before entering their classroom was one of the most amazing educational experiences of my life.  A whole new world of piano pedagogy opened up to me.  I wanted to know how students learn; what motivates them to learn;  what gets in the way of learning and how I might help  them understand and move beyond their roadblocks. 

 Although I am classically trained, I enjoy playing good old fashion rock and roll, a little jazz, and all sorts of in between.  The performances  that have meant the most to me were while I was living in Vienna.  I played a concert of half jazz and the other half original compositions in the same room as Franz Josef Haydn had played in 200 years before.  Performing in the Palais Kinsky, where Beethoven had performed did feel like I was on sacred ground and I prayed I was not a complete fraud!  After returning home from my 2 year stint in Vienna,  I began my piano studies with Alexander Braginsky at the University of Minnesota and finished my studies in humanities and music with a piano performance emphasis. 

My Teaching Philosophy

Above all else, I want my students to become sensitive, well-rounded musicians who can think for themselves.  I hope they fall in love with the piano and work towards becoming very good pianists but not everyone has to end up as a pianist.  Many of my students have gone on to discover their passion with another instrument and I am thrilled for them.  For many reasons,  studying piano gives all students a very solid music foundation.  

The skills learned can translate not only to other instruments, but to many areas of life.  When one of my students says that something is hard, I ask what they tried to do in order to overcome their difficulty.  Learning to identify and break down a problem is a critical skill needed for all learning,  including  playing an instrument.  

It can be challenging to find not only the time but the emotional and cognitive "space" for effective practice--- Difficult but not impossible.  We find a way. 

I've had the opportunity to teach music in many wonderful 
settings.  In the end, what I love most is helping my piano students become the best musicians they can be. 

When I'm not teaching...

When I'm not teaching,  I enjoy gardening, cooking, and designing jewelry for Bella Nika.  I love to travel and hope to someday make it to an elephant camp in northern Thailand.  My students will tell you I'm a film nut and often give them "movie homework".  My favorite activity on Saturday night is to hear our world class Minnesota Orchestra and Osmo bring down the house---which they usually do.  To be so lucky to have them in our own backyard!  I feel very fortunate that my passion,  pastime, and job are one in the same.