I am a piano teacher at the Beckett School at Laurier and a sessional instructor in Music History at Wilfrid Laurier University. I have taught piano for many years at a range of levels, and I have prepared students both for RCM examinations and for piano competitions, particularly the Davenport Festival of Music and the Mississauga Music Festival. My own piano teachers have included Kent McWilliams and Maria Dolnycky (with whom I studied before university) and the late Andrew Markow (with whom I studied while pursuing a Bachelor of Music degree).
I hold an ARCT in piano performance from the RCM, and I earned a PhD in Musicology from the University of Toronto in 2014. With special attention to Dvořák, my musicological research deals primarily with issues of reception and genre in the late nineteenth century and investigates the impact of politics on the musical life of Prague. My work has appeared in the Journal of the Royal Musical Association, Music & Letters, and Nineteenth-Century Music Review. Additionally, I have a forthcoming article in the Cambridge Opera Journal, and I will be contributing a chapter on the nineteenth-century Czech symphony to The Cambridge History of Music in the Czech Lands (to be published in 2024).
Even though music history has become my focus, I have always sought to be a well-rounded musician and to continue developing as a pianist/performer. Also, my work as a music historian informs my approach to teaching piano, as I aim to contextualize the music with my students, by discussing the historical backdrop and style of a given piece. My goal is to help the students not just become skilled pianists, but also thoughtful, versatile musicians with a deep knowledge of and appreciation for the works they are playing.
I truly enjoy forging personal connections with my students and helping them succeed. After having taken several of my courses, one of my Laurier students wrote me the following note: “I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the content you cover, your in-depth feedback, and your teaching style. You create a culture of kindness, respect, and generosity, and it is very clear that you care about each individual in your classes.” Indeed, the privilege of sharing my passion for music with my students is what I value most about my job.