When I was little, my parents will tell you that I never wanted to leave the room when "grown-ups" were visiting. I thought I was a "grown-up" too. I have always migrated toward older people and have always been interested in teaching and working with adults.
When I was a graduate student at the University of Michigan I ran the adult group piano program. When I came to Cincinnati to work at Baldwin Piano & Organ Co. I insisted that we start an employee piano class. When I went to work at MTNA (Music Teachers National Association) I was the representative to the first Recreational Music Making for Adults conference in Wisconsin. I am teaching group piano at Wilmington College, both to students and to the faculty and staff.
I also spend a good amount of time with kids, too and in fact teach about 80 people under the age of 10 each week - that keeps me young(er) (although they think my head is going "rotten"! - What do they know?)
Anyway, I love teaching adults - I love the joy they find in even their first accomplishment - I love the passion they have for finding out information about how music works and how composers write music and the sheer excitement of seeing them make their own music. So, always in the back of my mind has been the idea that I would someday have a "grown-ups"- only music program - a place where adults - young and old - could come together and make their own kind of music.
I know that adults are busy and so I also know that it can be frustrating not to learn anything in the first class - so we have designed workarounds for that in hopes more people will make music faster. We also know that there are lots of adults who already study with great teachers here in the tri-state area - so we are offering programming that can be "ancillary" to current lesson study - classes that will enhance their experience - not replace. We also know that lots of people like to sing and play - but don't have time and can't find other people - so we have created an entire series of "Ring, Sing and Play-Ins" - people will come together in one day to make music together.
"What About Mary?" (not the movie - Mary Chaiken). For 18 years I was the Associate Director and Accompanist for MUSE, Cincinnati's Women's Choir and Mary Chaiken is an Alto I. In August, 2013 I retired from MUSE and my last duty was to play for auditions. Mary was there representing the Alto I's and she said that she was leaving her career/day job - Cancer Researcher (PhD Molecular Biologist) - I can't even spell all that - let alone know what it is - but, nonetheless, Mary said she was looking for something new in her life - ahah - my moment - I asked her if she wanted to start this with me and sure enough - she did! My lucky day! Mary is great - she keeps things sane and organized and let's me dream.
So Mary and I are off on an adventure - CincyCAMS - we are excited, nervous and hopeful that everyone will love it and flock in! Here's to a great time and wonderful music making! See you soon!