Tell us a little about your role at Finchcocks…
I have been working part time at Finchcocks for about 9 months now and absolutely love it. I have two main responsibilities, one of which is administrative, and the other is my shared role with Helen hosting and facilitating our piano courses. I really enjoy marrying up the two roles, putting faces to the names of those I have booked on the course, and seeing the fruits of the organisation as guests leave inspired in their playing!
Alongside your work on the courses, you also teach and perform regularly. How do you manage this balance?
This question made me smile! As a freelancer musician, some days you feel you are completely on top of your scheduling and work balance. If a last-minute gig or two comes in however, then it’s a definite case of being a “swan” (calm on the surface with flappy feet!). Time management is key. Forward planning, list writing and coloured post-it notes are my best friends.
Who or what is your biggest musical influence?
This would have to be my dad. I have very fond memories of our first trip up to London to see a concert together, singing with him in the church choir, his gentle encouragement when I was learning the violin and piano and of his broad and eclectic music taste. Apparently, he used to place my baby rocker in front of the stereo speaker and rock me along to the music whilst reading a book. This is probably why I’m such a fan of choral music, the Clash and the Police. It didn’t rub off with Bob Dylan or loud organ music though! I think my brother and sister would both agree that Chopin’s posthumous Valse in E minor was the soundtrack to our childhood, which dad was always trying to master.
Where did you study?
I studied Music and German, followed by a PGCE at Southampton University. The course included a wonderful Erasmus year abroad in Hamburg, where I studied at the university. Initially a challenge, it ended up being the highlight of my degree.
Can you describe an average day on a Finchcocks course?
Full of music, quality discussion and learning, inspiring pianos, delicious food and wine, in a beautiful Kentish setting with a wonderful team. Add a dog or two and I’d be in heaven.
Guilty pleasure? (musical or otherwise!)
Biscuits. Any will do, but malted milk, custard or golden crunch creams with a cup of tea make me very happy!
What piece of music could you not live without?
For someone who loves variety and can swing from listening to Byrd’s Mass for Four Voices to Beyonce, this is a very tricky question. It might be easier to say what I could live without! Definitely N.E.R.D. (a pet hate) and Enrique Iglesias’s Hero.