I attended Otago University in Dunedin and graduated with a BA in English, a Bachelor of Music (majoring in Piano Performance) and a Post Graduate Diploma with Distinction in Music.
In 1991 I gained my LTCL Performer’s Diploma and a few years later in 1996, one of the highlights of my musical career came about. At the time, the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music were running Centenary Travel Grant Scholarships, allowing teachers to further their musical studies in London. Under this Scholarship I attended the Royal College of Music and gained my LRSM Teaching Diploma. It was a fantastic and inspirational experience, exposing me to a huge array of teaching methodologies and pedagogical practices; strategies which I still employ and expand upon to this day.
Jane and Music in Dunedin
I have always kept myself involved in Dunedin’s community music environment. In addition to providing seminars on teaching methods and business practices to local music teachers, I have also been active in adjudicating local competitions in the city and surrounding areas.
My association with the Saturday Morning Music Classes (a local organisation providing group music tuition) spanned almost 30 years where I taught beginner recorder, clarinet and theory classes. Service on the committees of the SMMC and local branch of the Institute of Registered Music Teachers of New Zealand (of which I’m a member) have also kept me busy.
Piano Teacher Publications
One of the direct outcomes of my Scholarship to London was my growing interest in composition. Having come back from overseas brimming with ideas and having taught both young children and adults for many years, I was becoming increasingly frustrated with the quality of music available which would address students’ technical and musical needs in equal measure. So, I decided to compose a series of educational piano scores myself.
In 2002 my first book “Garden Party” was published by Willis Music, one of America’s leading music education specialists. This was followed a year later by “Garden Playtime” and in 2005 “Fantasy & Fairy Tale”, aimed at more advanced students, was published. My books are now published and distributed by Hal Leonard, the world’s largest music print publisher, and my most recent publications, “Freestyle” and “More Freestyle” embrace a range of diverse styles and cater for the intermediate level pianist.
I’m always keen for a new creative challenge. Having written several music books, I decided it was time to try my hand at something different. The visual arts seemed perfect as it would complement my musical background. Having absolutely no skill in painting or drawing, I bought a camera and began to experiment.
My love for abstract imagery and creating triptychs soon became apparent as I began to photograph everyday objects from around my home in unusual and quirky ways.
You can see a small sample of my work below, and if you’d like to learn more about my photography and view more images, please visit my Abstracted Reality website.
The Connection between my Music and my Photography
I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about the connection between my music and my photography and have discovered that the two disciplines, in fact, have a great deal in common.
I have several blog posts in the ‘In Harmony’ series on my website which explore this topic if you’d like to read more.
And if you’re interested to see how I used the piano itself to create of a couple of my images, click on them below to go to their ‘Exposed’ blog posts.