Welcome back to all my students!  I hope everyone has made a good start to the year.  I feel very positive about how everyone is playing and singing and I hope you are all enjoying lessons after my 5 week break!  I had a simply wonderful time with my daughter and family.  Swimming almost every day, getting a good suntan which has unfortunately already faded, and enjoying gluten free orange and coriander cake with orange syrup at the coffee shop near my daughter’s home.  I have to find out how to make that cake!  I do love Fremantle with the beaches and the port which provides daily fascination for me.  I watch to see if any of the big cargo boats are getting up steam ready for the tugs to take them out.  I also saw the Leewin II come in and out several times – big three masted sailing ship used to train young people and also provide tourists with sailing fun.  I have been out on her and even got to steer for a bit!

But back to music.  This is a long semester running from January 3 to June 16 although the school students may not stay past school finishing earlier in June.  I am going to take a Spring break over Easter and those dates are in everyone’s emails after this week.  The Soiree will be June 4, Sunday afternoon, at Croasdaile auditorium.  I am sorry I did not have a December Soiree but I will be having one December 2017.  There will also be two Adult Work in Progress evenings this semester, one before Easter and one late May.

I am chairing a classical voice master class this semester for the Durham Music Teacher’s Association.  The likely date will be March 19, Sunday afternoon but I have yet to confirm that.

The clinician is Julianna Tauschinger-Dempsey, soprano, and you can read about her here:


I have started the semester with 41 students and a waiting list but might be adding another young ukulele student.  Ukulele is such a great instrument to start young ones on but it can also be very sophisticated – just listen to Jake Shimabukuro play Rolling in the Deep! I have 12 adult students studying piano and voice, 5 voice students in total, 2 guitar students and 6 ukulele students, but the bulk of my practice is in piano with 16 school age students and 10 adults. 

I am so happy to have Ashley Cummings return to lessons.  She is in her first year at NCSU.  She has nominated a major in Veterinary science specifically Zoology, and has just achieved top place in her first Freshman semester, first out of over 4,000 students.  But she also loves piano and is playing beautifully. She was my very first piano student in America in 2009.  I have also heard from other past students, Chelsea Daniel who is studying piano at the University of Texas in Austin, and Elijah Rogan-Kelly who is studying at Guilford College in Greensboro, where Ruvarashe Mukelabai is also studying nursing at AT&T University.  Go well, all of you and your second semester!

Practice well – it makes a huge difference!