By Khiasiah Holland; The Whetstone
Q: How long have you been teaching?
A: This is the fourth year I’ve been teaching piano here at Wesley. Before that, I taught a little bit as a student in college and at graduate school and then I started working one-on-one with students as a private teacher.
Q: How have you changed your style since you started teaching?
A: I’ve become more confident as a teacher. I used to be very quiet and hesitate and sometimes I still am. That’s part of my personality, but I’ve definitely gained confidence with my experience, and I think I have probably learned to be a better planner. I think through lesson plans and am also more flexible. If I see students aren’t understanding I take a little more time, or if they understand it quickly, I can brainstorm another activity.
Q: What rewards do you get from teaching?
A: I think anytime that I see that light bulb a student has when understanding the material, that’s really rewarding for me. I think the other thing is I enjoy working with my students because I like seeing them grow and I like supporting them academically.
Q: Which school did you go to and what was your major?
A: I did my undergraduate work at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wis., and my major was music performance. Then I did graduate work at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and my degree was in Performance and Teaching
Q: How long have you been playing the piano?
A: I’ve been playing the piano since I was 9 years old, so that would be for almost 30 years now
Q: Was it difficult when you first started playing?
A: There were parts of it that were hard. Music reading was very hard for me and it took me a while to catch on to that. But I had a teacher that was really encouraging, so I always felt like I was good at this.
Q: What drew you to the piano?
A: I think it was one of my favorite things to do growing up. I spent a lot of time just playing and practicing and so it was something I wanted to keep doing.
Q: What was your worst and most interesting job as a student in the music field?
A: My most interesting job as a student was I worked an usher for concerts. A lot of times we would have people come in late and they would walk straight in, in the middle of a performance and I would have to stop them. So I always had to be aware of what was going on in order to keep people from walking in the middle of a performance.
Q: Where were you born and raised?
A: I was born and raised in Delaware and then for a few years in high school I lived on the eastern shore of Maryland.
Q: What’s your favorite movies?
A: That’s a tough one. I don’t watch a lot of movies, so I don’t have a big favorite, but I know one movie that I watched when I was younger that I always remember: “The Client” which is a suspense movie based on a John Grisham book.
Q: What’s your favorite book, poem or screen play?
A: “One of my favorite books would be The Hobbit
Q: What’s your favorite genre of music and your favorite artist?”
A: I really like the group, ”Need to Breathe.” They are an Indie rock group.