Hello students and parents,

The Spring semester has begun well and February is almost upon us, like tomorrow!

I have quite a bit of news so will be succinct in bullets:

  • Thank you so much to all the students who participated in the DMTA (Durham Music Teachers Association) Playathons last year.  We raised enough to be able to give 4 scholarships to students in reduced circumstances so they can continue music lessons.  One of my students is a recipient of a scholarship this semester.  There is another playathon at Northgate Mall (hopefully, provided it is still in existence)  on April 13, and my time will be 2-2:30 pm.  Please consider coming to play to help your fellow students.
  • This coming Sunday 3 February there will be a Classical Voice Master Class from 3-5 pm at Croasdaile Village Chapel (where we have our Soirées but in the Chapel not the Auditorium).  I am the DMTA Chair for this master class. There will be 4-5 singers and the clinician who will give them feedback is Marion Pratnicki, wonderful and very fun voice professional from UNCSA.  All are welcome – you can learn a tremendous amount about the voice from attending these master classes.
  • Several new students have started music lessons this year so welcome to new students and parents.  I now have a waiting list of 8 students and I wish I could accommodate them but my studio is really full.  My website is up to date and you can check the schedule and events there (www.flourishingmuse.net).  I am going to try to put up more videos this year.  Seems like there is so little time but that is not quite true.  You can always make time for things that matter!  So happy last Sunday to get in a luxurious 1.5 hours of piano practice.
  • The Spring Soirée will be June 2 at Croasdaile Village Auditorium.  These are very important occasions to set goals for students to polish one of their pieces and you can already be thinking about what you might play.  I am working on duets with quite a few duos.  I also want to encourage student composers.  We had Ben in December with his songs for dogs, but we need more songs and original pieces.
  • I am also planning an adult work-in-progress evening for  1 March.  That might be a tiny bit early so watch the newsletters for possible change but adults, it is coming so you need to plan your pieces.
  • Lastly, if you are interested in acoustic pianos, there is a great website where you can learn more:  https://pianopricepoint.com.  For example, I did not know the piano was almost called an arpicembalo!  Here is a small extract from the article on piano action:

“I shall build an Arpicembalo!” stated Cristofori excitedly. The year was 1698 and his new invention literally translated means “harp-harpsichord”. It would be a new instrument that would sound like a harp and have keys like a harpsichord. Harpsichords have plucked strings but this new invention would have mallets that strike the strings. It was described in the inventory of the Grand Prince Ferdinand de Medici, his employer as ‘an instrument that could produce both soft and loud tones with 2 sets of strings at unison pitch having a cypress soundboard’. Needless to say, the Arpicembalo name didn’t last but rather, the function described the instrument. It would forever be known as a piano-forte or a soft- loud. Over time this truncated to simply, the Piano.


  • Thanks always to all students and parents for choosing to learn music with me in my studio, Flourishing Muse (we are all each other’s muses!)  I am grateful to be able to earn my living teaching what I love in my own comfortable home. When I take holidays I really miss all the students who enliven my life!