My music study started with the Suzuki method when I was three and a half years old and my brother’s piano teacher said she wanted to start teaching me as well. Unfortunately my teacher passed away after a couple years of study so the Suzuki method stopped, but I learned how to play by ear very well starting young. I never imagined I would become a professional musician. It never really crossed my mind, even with all the music in my life – accordion, clarinet and flute in band, some guitar and violin. I went through all of the OMTA syllabus levels (I-X and also a level XI) and competed in festivals several times a year thinking music would become a thing of my past.
I started playing flute and piano in church when I was around 11 years old. There were two pianists in my church who were incredible improvisors and didn’t really read music, and I learned a lot from them about both improvising and how to play/lead on piano and keyboard in the church setting. I still consider those years of observation to be one of my biggest skill building times.
I went into my junior year of college at age 18 not knowing what I wanted to do. I finally settled on music, with some breaks in there, and graduated with a B.S. in Music from Portland State University in 2009.
During my college years I continued teaching but also got into the accompanying and musical theatre world. I was mostly working with local high schools – choirs and productions and vocal coaching and competition/performance accompanying. I had so much work I decided to ditch the Bachelor of Music in Performance I was working on and cut out early and get a Bachelor of Science in Music.
Since college I’ve maintained the same sort of musical life with the addition of an official church gig and doing my own singer songwriter material as well. I’ve enjoyed time with a couple of local bands and expanding my music community to all kinds of musicians. I’ve also picked up the ukulele. Having a small portable instrument that doesn’t require electricity is amazing!