When I was nine years old we inherited a piano. But before that time, whenever I saw
a piano, I was drawn to touch the keys and play. From the time I started lessons, I knew I wanted to be a pianist. At age twelve, I saved my allowance for months and bought a bust of Chopin at a little gift store in town. I still have it to this day, one of my most cherished possessions.
A musician must make music, an artist must paint, a poet must write, if he is to be ultimately at peace with himself. What one can be, one must be.
Unfortunately, life doesn’t always work out as we plan and my story is a miracle of destiny. As a young teen I was an advanced pianist and had worked very devotedly at the piano. But somehow I lost my way and did not touch a piano for ten years. I earned a BA in Humanities (1970) in college and during that time I was always drawn to any piano I encountered. At age 25, I decided to study again and took about six weeks of lessons at MacPhail Conservatory in Minneapolis before I applied to U MN/Duluth. They admitted me without any audition at all, something absolutely unheard of. I was assigned a teacher, went in and played a Chopin waltz and we began. I had to earn a Bachelor’s degree first and it took me four years (1974-8) as a single mother to accomplish it and then go on to a Master’s degree at U Iowa (1978-80) for another two years. In many ways, although I lost valuable and formative years in music, this unusual background has been a blessing, giving me compassion, patience, and understanding for my own students and their struggles and joys with the piano. I also feel that my background in Humanities has given me a broader and deeper approach to music.