photo by Suzette Vorster
MY TEACHING JOURNEY
I started my teaching career when I was employed in South Korea at the age of 25. My first students were young performers from Samsung Youth Orchestra, Seoul. Diligent and dedicated, disciplined and always smiling, these young Koreans made my debut as a teacher most pleasurable and at the same time, filled with great responsibility. I still remember, with a smile on my face, the tension, the nerves and the pride in our hearts during the special live recording of my lesson for EBS I TV, Seoul, South Korea. Since then, teaching violin has become an inseparable part of my life as a violinist. Here in South Africa, I am privileged to have violin students from some of the best schools in the country as well as University of KwaZulu-Natal Durban.
The list of schools is long:
Kearsney College, Botha’s Hill, where part of our music activities involves sharing the stage with The World Choir Games winner Kearsney Boys’ Choir.
Durban Girls College, where I am happy to work with award winning students, often featuring in local competitions and playing as soloist with KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra.
Crawford School’s students Amy and Aiden Lou are South African rising violin and piano stars. Despite their young age, their repertoire reaches a long way, from Solo Partitas by Bach to the virtuosity in Wieniawski and Saint-Saens. In her latest Trinity College London grade 7 violin exam, Amy Lou achieved the outstanding score of 98%.
Clifton School pupil, Tiashan Moodley who joined my violin class already as a leading violinist in KwaZulu-Natal (concertmaster of KwaZulu-Natal Youth Orchestra and Associate Board of Royal School of Music, London, High Scorer) was a student of my student, Jane Baillie.
Another great benefit of being a violin teacher in South Africa is the opportunity to teach a vast range of students all around the world. Alongside South Africans, I have worked with many eager and talented young people from Zimbabwe, Zambia, Mozambique, India, Sri Lanka, Argentina, Thailand and China.
Many of them pursue a music career in South Africa and often I share the stage with them, as young colleagues of mine in various concerts around the country.
Over the last few years, I have been appointed as a Violin coach for the KwaZulu-Natal Youth Orchestra.
Joining them on their annual music camps gives me the opportunity to share my orchestral/ ensemble experiences as a longtime member of the KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra and a Leader of Baroque 2000.
As a direct result of my growing involvement with the Early Music family in South Africa, I have been invited to coach the South African National Youth Orchestra on their Baroque courses in Johannesburg in 2019 and 2020. There we joined forces with Principal musicians from Royal Concertgebouw, Amsterdam – Henk Rubingh – violin and Martina Forni – viola, as well as the leading South African Baroque musicians – Erik Dippenaar and John Coulter.
During Covid-19, I carry on with my teaching practice mostly through online lessons. During the extraordinary times in which the society was shaken by fear, loss, insecurity and despair, my young fellows/students show their optimism, brave hearts and true love for violin and music.