from an extraordinary teacher who happened to live across the street from me in Attleboro, Massachusetts. What was extraordinary is that she studied with the late Raymund Mauro, a student of Cortot and Casadesus, and the late Madame Avis Bliven Charbonnel of Providence, a pupil of Leschetisky in Vienna. If this sounds fancy it is! Imagine having a teacher of this brilliance in your backyard! I didn't fully appreciate this fact until I went to the Boston Conservatory of Music as a piano major and realized that my preparation was unparalleled to many. But oh... if I only practiced more growing up!
Fast forward through a failed marriage, single motherhood, and trying to make ends meet as the primary breadwinner, I continued teaching piano lessons privately and also became a classroom music teacher in public schools. I loved teaching and became a strong advocate for quality arts education in our schools. Before my retirement in 2012, my focus was to bring the arts to as many children in the community through in-school and after-school programs. I am very proud of my accomplishments and fortunate to have these opportunities during my career.
But like many creative people, I was starving for something new. I literally was having dreams of playing the piano without mistakes... just playing on and on! These were beautiful dreams. I felt as if I was gliding among the clouds with my eyes closed enveloped by sounds that were calming, uplifting, exciting, and sublime without words. That's when I started improvising on the piano like in my dreams. And like my dream, I could do this with my eyes closed. Just basking in the sounds not thinking of key, meter, or tempo. I just let it flow... Usually, you can't replicate your dreams, but I did... the music was there and it needed to get out.