Wednesday, August 7, 2013

My Teachers, My Heroes

I have been thinking a lot lately about the music instructors I had in college who believed in me, who saw the talent that I sometimes doubted. The musician and teacher that I am today is result of their encouragement and tutelage. My piano teacher Barbara Cunningham and theory professor Dwight Davis supported my decision to switch my major to music. Mr. Davis even gave me additional sightsinging/ear-training lessons for free!!! He also really thought a lot of my singing voice and gently chided me for not joining his vocal ensemble. Barbara pushed me to participate in the Piano Guild auditions so that I could be heard and critiqued by her peers. It allowed me to get further confirmation that I was indeed on the right path.

At Columbia College Chicago, I was blessed to get Brad Nitschke as my first voice teacher. It was life-changing!! I learned so much from watching him work with my fellow vocalists in our Techniques in Singing class. I discovered things about my voice I never knew I was capable of, to be honest. He not only had great belief in me as a singer, but also nurtured me as a future teacher of singing. The awesome Bobbi Wilsyn taught several of my vocal courses and was so inspiring to my developing artistry. She had great technique and incredible style. She pushed me to expand my repertoire base. Pete Scheiner and Laura Hoffman were my keyboard harmony teachers. They took me seriously as a piano player and helped me gain more confidence.

I would not be where I am without the knowledge they shared and their votes of confidence. I try to respect the work they put into me by putting my heart and soul into my teaching today. I believe it is my responsibility to continue the tradition of the serious artist/teacher alive, uplifting the students who trust me to help them reach their own musical goals.