When I was a graduate student, teaching at Eastman Community Music School in Rochester, New York, my faculty advisor invited me to start a pilot strings program with him at School 17, an inner-city elementary school a few minutes away from the university.
It was in this grassroots setting that I learned not only how to become a teacher, but also how truly important music education is to the lives of young people.
I was overjoyed, at Branksome Hall, to see that our own Music Department had a partnership with Rose Avenue Public School, much like my university had with School 17. I was touched that our young students would go every week to mentor budding young musicians on their new instruments. Because of the deep impact that my experiences at School 17 had on my career and my life, I knew that I had landed in the right place at Branksome Hall!
I became a music teacher because I loved music and had found that the life of a solo performer would not be fulfilling enough. I wanted to be in an environment where I interacted daily with different young people, influencing and inspiring them with meaningful musical experiences.
The best part of Branksome is the community. The students are compassionate, respectful, and talented. I am often so impressed by the level the students can achieve at their young age. My fellow teachers are dedicated, skilled, and genuinely care about the wellbeing of all their students. My students and colleagues are among the best that anyone could ask for and I feel very privileged to be a part of their lives.
In my spare time, I play in different orchestras around Toronto, perform chamber music with a couple of friends, or accompany church choirs on the piano. When I'm driving home, I listen to music on my iPod or on one of my favourite radio stations. I enjoy spending time each evening playing my instruments, as this both relaxes and energizes me.