I started to learn the piano when I was seven. Actually, I first started practicing on a Kimbal Swinger 200 organ! I loved that "Bossa Nova" built-in beat. My cat kept entering into the organ through the expression pedal. Let me tell you, my father spent some quality time getting that cat out of the organ! I now play and teach on a Tadashi six foot grand piano, which I have had since I was a teenager.
Growing up I've had quite a myriad of piano teachers. In my home town of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, my first teacher was Mrs. Fletcher. When I was ten, my family moved from Wisconsin to Missouri. My first teacher in Warrenton, Missouri was a man who performed in an Elvis impersonator band. He worked out of a tiny studio in town. He was tall, skinny, and had long greasy hair. He would often fall asleep during my lesson! I thought that was amusing. However, when I reached high school, I started studying under Mr. Wilkinson. He was quite a character himself, but an outstanding teacher! He inspired me by his belief in my talent, and encouraged me to study music in college. I would not be where I am today without him. Choosing the right teacher is certainly key in your piano studies.
I received my high school diploma and my collegiate freshman diploma from the National Guild of Piano Teachers. I went on to receive my Bachelor's Degree in Piano Performance at the University of Missouri-Columbia, where I studied under Professor Raymond Herbert. I graduated in 1990. I then was awarded with a full tuition scholarship and teaching stipend from the University of Notre Dame, where I studied to receive my Master's Degree in Piano Performance under Professor William Czerny. I graduated in 1992.
After I completed my Master's Degree, I moved back to Columbia, Missouri for a couple of years, where I taught music at Herbert Music Studios. There I learned to teach the Suzuki method. My youngest student was two-years-old! I have taught students in their 50s too. The Suzuki Method is a great way for students, especially the very young, to learn how to play, because the student is taught by ear before being taught how to read music. Upon our initial consultation, we can decide which method to use in your studies - Suzuki or traditional.
St. Louis has been my home since the mid-1990s. It is hard for me to believe, but for over 20 years now, I have taught piano lessons, accompanied instrumental and vocal soloists, and played in weddings and at dinner receptions. Where does the time go? I am happily married, and together we have a blended family with five beautiful children and three grandsons.
I also play with violinists Nicole Kovaluk and Kathy Garrison in our chamber ensemble, the Parlor Trio. Our debut concert was held at the Tavern of Fine Arts on November 10, 2012 at 8:00 p.m., and we have been together playing ever since.
It would be my honor to help you achieve your musical endeavors. I look forward to hearing from you!