Music has been my passion since childhood, beginning when my grandmother bought a piano for me at age five, so that I could take piano lessons. I played the piano through grade school and high school, studying with Anna Mae Christiansen in Omaha. After college, I pursued other careers, but returned to the study of piano as a “non-traditional” student with James March at Morningside College, and then with Susanne Skyrm at the University of South Dakota, graduating with a Masters’ Degree in Music, with emphasis on piano in 1997. I immediately started teaching private piano in my own studio and have taught for the last 20+ years. I am proud to have participated in many professional music organizations: Nebraska Federation of Music Teachers, Omaha Music Teachers Association (OMTA), Music Teachers National Association (MTNA). I am a Nationally Certified Teacher of Music in Piano through MTNA and hold a Permanent Professional Certificate. I continue my education by attending piano teacher workshops, classes, and conferences.
During my lifetime, I have always been interested in other aspects of instrumental and vocal music, fueled by participation in Omaha Central High’s A Capella Choir, and church and community choirs over the years. I play the harpsichord and teach harpsichord to those who are interested. Instruments that I play for a hobby are a restored baritone ukulele and a Russian balalaika.
Participation in church music has been a part of my musical life, from the time I played an old pump organ in a church chapel to playing pipe organs in various churches. I began my study of the organ with Cecil Neubecker in Omaha, then returned to organ study while at the University of South Dakota with Larry Schou. I continued my study of the pipe organ with Marie Rubis Bauer and James Johnson, after returning to Omaha in 2001. I have held organist positions at Salem Lutheran Lutheran Church, Dakota City, Nebraska; St. Thomas Episcopal Church, Sioux City, Iowa; Boys Town Protestant Chapel, Omaha; and am currently at St. Augustine of Canterbury Episcopal Church in Elkhorn, Nebraska (since 2009). I have been a freelance organist and substitute organist in various churches over the years. I am an active member of Omaha Chapter of American Guild of Organists (AGO), having served as Education chairman, and hold a Service playing Certificate through the AGO. I am also a member of the Anglican Association of Musicians.
Since making music and studying music has always been a part of my life, I feel strongly that music should be passed down to all future generations through effective teaching of young students. My piano studio has always reflected a wide variety of ages and musical skills, as I believe that all persons have the ability to learn and enjoy music and play a musical instrument. My involvement in church music over the years, as an organist, choir member, and composer of church music, has been a driving force in my life, and I consider it is a gift I want to share with others.