My Musical History
When I was four years old I heard 'Sparky's Magic Piano', a
story about a boy who dreamed that his piano could play for him.
There I heard Chopin's Etude Opus 10 No. 12 ("Revolutionary
Study") and decided that I had to be able to play it. So my
grandma bought me an old piano, and my dad fixed up all the
keys. My mum used to clap her hands to help me keep time when
playing. I started lessons with Miss Lily Thorrington at the back of
a music shop in Walsall, England.
She was a very strict teacher but she taught me so much and my
lessons with her only ended when my parents moved away when I
was eleven years old. I always think of her with love and I
still have my old music with her handwriting and her
instructions to me.
For various reasons my musical education for many years after
that was intermittent, mainly group classes at school, school
concerts and performances. After leaving school, we moved
to Australia where I began a long successful career as a
computer programmer in Defence. At the same time I gained medals
in ballroom dancing and began teaching students.
My busy life was full of learning and many new professional and
personal challenges, but piano and Chopin were never far from my
I eventually married and had two children, a daughter and a son,
and used to play music with my babies sleeping next to the piano.
I yearned to play better and learn more.
Years later my daughter, who played the flute, told me that her
teacher was a concert pianist and arranged for me to go and play
for him. Her teacher was Graeme Tyler, who is now the Head of
Performing Arts at the Australian International School in Hong
Kong. Graeme is a wonderful teacher and he taught me for a number
of years, helping me to improve to the extent that I passed
advanced exams in Music Theory and Musicianship and gained my
A.Mus.A. (Associate of Music Australia) from the Australian Music
Examinations Board in 1986.
I auditioned for a Single Studies scholarship at Elder
Conservatorium of Music at the University of Adelaide. I was
honoured to be able to study with Mr. Clemens Leske Snr. A.M. for
two years. It was such a wonderful time for me, the atmosphere of
the University, the performances, the music. My lessons were some
of the best times of my life with an unforgettably inspirational
pianist and teacher who gave me his patient guidance. With his
help I reached L.Mus.A. standard (Licentiate of Music Australia).
I began taking piano students from complete beginners to
advanced performers and loved helping them gain confidence and
to experience so much joy from playing.
I am a very patient teacher, willing to teach students at their
own pace and to tailor the lessons for their individual needs.
My aim is to provide relaxed and supportive lessons where my
pupils feel free to express their thoughts and are happy to
learn in a mutually enjoyable environment.
I have an empathy for people and can relate to a wide variety
of different personalities and backgrounds.
Piano music has sustained me through happy times and sad. I had
the most caring parents, my beautiful children and now my best
friends, my loving second husband and my son. But my life has
also offered sadness and challenges, and the ultimate tragedy of
the loss of my beautiful daughter, and more recently, my mum and my dad.
But my music remains.
To quote Ernest Hutcheson in "The Literature Of The Piano",
"... the piano literature remains incredibly rich, noble and
varied. May it long engage your mind and content your soul."