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.
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.
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.