An Interview with Miss. Emily!
An Interview with Miss Emily
For this month’s music blog, I decided to sit down with our very own APA music teacher, (and triple threat!) Miss Emily, to learn more about her journey from music student to performer and teacher of multiple instruments.
Why did you begin taking private music lessons, starting with piano at age 4?
I had a little keyboard, almost like a toy keyboard, that I would try and play songs on. One day I was trying to figure out how to play “Deck the Halls” and mom was like “okay, we need to get her into private lessons.”
What made you decide to add private viola lessons at age 9?
My orchestra teacher would do a recruitment every year. He would have the high schoolers come and play at all of the elementary schools. I got really excited and wanted to play the violin, and then my aunt suggested viola because I would have more performance
And then what about voice at age 13?
I was in the middle school choir at the time, and my choir teacher suggested to my parents
that I take private voice lessons from her.
How did you manage the learning and practicing of the 3 instruments?
It was tough at times. I had three private lessons a week by the time I was thirteen, and I was in choir and orchestra in middle school and high school. It was a lot, but at the time it didn’t feel that way because I loved it so much.
What advice can you give to APA students who are tackling multiple instruments at a
Set a timer for each instrument depending on where you are at and what skill level you are at. Take little breaks and then come back to practice. Have a specific goal in mind when you are practicing but don’t be discouraged if you don’t meet that goal right away.
I actually come from a musical family. My mom played French horn in high school and college, and my dad plays trombone, guitar, and is currently learning piano. My brother is also an orchestra teacher. My mom would help me practice a lot. I specifically remember that we had this big board with staff on it, and she would throw coins on the board, and then I would have to tell her what note it was. And then when I got enough money, I got to go to Toys R Us and buy things.
Do you have any advice for parents of students who are learning multiple instruments,
or just learning any instrument?
I hit a wall when I was maybe in first grade where I didn’t want to do anything; I didn’t want to practice. My parents just had me push through it and I am so glad that they did because I can’t even imagine if I would have quit. Music is pretty much my whole life now.
For parents, there might be a time when you just have to have your child push through and know that their learning may be a little harder now but that it will get better.
What do you love the most about teaching?
Sharing my knowledge and getting kids excited about music, and seeing their child-like joy.
It is awesome to witness.
As a teacher and a performer, what is the best advice you can give our APA students
when it comes to dealing with performing anxiety?
Something they can really try to do at performances and/or recitals? Remember the power of breathing. Just take deep breaths and try to get into the music
you are performing. If you can enjoy what you are doing, it will help the anxiety fade away.
Who are some of your favorite artists?
I love Ben Folds. I’m a sucker for anyone who can play piano, and when the piano is combined with rock and roll it is just so awesome. My other favorite artist is Amanda Palmer. I have been listening to her since I was sixteen.