When did you decide to become a teacher, and why did you choose this field?
While in high school, I auditioned for various honor symphonic bands in NJ, and it was in these groups that I realized the potential that music had for changing lives for the better. In one performance particularly, I remember seeing how the music reached the audience in a profound way, and it was then that I knew that a career in music was what I wanted to do. I attended James Madison University in Harrisonburg, VA where I received a Bachelor of Music, in Music Education. After teaching for only one year, I went back to school for a Master of Music degree in Music Performance on the Clarinet at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. While in Michigan, I was missing working with children, and I knew it was time for me go back to teaching and help students learn how to share their music and develop their musicianship. Teaching instrumental music is a rewarding career, because students are always improving their abilities to read music and developing their own expressive voices with their instruments.
What do you see as your role in the learning process?
I started teaching private piano lessons at the age of 17, and I remember thinking, “how will I teach this lesson so that the student will be successful and still find learning the piano enjoyable?” I ask this same question every day while working with students either in the classroom or in a private lesson. Every student learns differently, and I enjoy the opportunity to build on these differences. It is a joy to watch students take all of their unique learning styles, and work together as one collective sound, while playing together as a group.
What is your favorite day of the school year?
Concert day is the best day of the school year. Students bring their best efforts forward in order to perform well, and it is such a joy to listen to the musicianship that grows in our students over the years.
What was your favorite subject?
My favorite subjects, besides music, were math and art. I was pleased to be able to continue these courses in college while working on my music degree.
When not in School, what do you do for fun?
I enjoy spending time with my family. My husband, Jim, and I and our two daughters, Rachel, age 13, and Aubrey, age 11, enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking on the Appalachia Trail, biking, and swimming. We also do a lot of soccer and musical activities. I enjoy running, gardening, practicing clarinet and piano, art, sewing and playing with the New Sussex Symphony, Sparta NJ. I have always had a joy for orchestral performance and do some freelancing when my schedule allows.
Do you have a pet? What kind and how may?
We have two cats. A black and white cat named patches is 6yrs. old, and we have a six month old black kitten named Pepper. Pepper is more playful than all of us can handle at times, so he requires a lot of patience!