Meet the Teacher
Hi I'm Barbara! I am the Studio Owner and Online Piano Teacher here at Piano Ecademy.
This is my story of how I came to be a piano teacher.
MY MUSIC EDUCATION
I started taking music lessons at the age of 7, after asking my parents whether I could learn to play the piano.
I graduated a decade later in 2004 with High Distinction in piano and piano accompaniment from the Academy for Music, Drama and Dance (Academie voor Muziek, Woord en Dans) in Tienen, Belgium.
I spent several hours each week for 10 years learning how to read, write, sight-sing and play music in various solfeggio and theory/music analysis classes, training my ears and my musical abilities. I took weekly piano lessons as well as weekly classes in piano accompaniment. I even took a couple of years of saxophone lessons.
I partook in multiple performance opportunities every year, including the annual piano recitals and academy musical performances (both as part of the kids choir and as part of the instrumental accompaniments).
As part of the official examination system in Belgium, I also had to undergo the dreaded public exams every 3 years where you play your exam repertoire on stage in front of a jury of examinators and a live audience.
MY ACADEMIC EDUCATION
Sadly, the pressure of public exams and the performance driven music culture that existed (and still exists) in higher music education put me off pursuing music as a career. Instead I attended one of Europe's top universities, KULeuven, to study a Bachelor and then a Master in Germanic (English) Literature and Linguistics, from which I graduated in 2008 with Distinction.
I originally planned on becoming an English teacher but I met my Australian husband shortly afterwards and instead moved continents to Australia.
While building a life and a career on the other side of the world, I re-discovered the piano and music in my life, slowly but surely re-fuelling my passion for making music and creating an overwhelming desire to share this with other adults. From 2015 to 2018 I took advanced piano lessons as well as teacher training with accomplished teacher and teacher trainer Dr Jan McMillan.
BECOMING A MUSIC TEACHER
It was my mum, who asked me to teach her how to play piano, who inspired me to pursue a career as a piano teacher.
I returned to regular piano lessons and started diving into pedagogy/andragogy (the science of teaching adults) and creative teaching techniques. With the help of powerhouse mentors and by actively seeking out as much professional development opportunities as I could, I became more and more excited about the possibilities of teaching in a different, more creative way. By focusing less on exams and performing, and instead focusing on creativity, musicality and musical understanding, I realised I could open a door for my students to discover their own musical abilities and strengths in a more friendly, relaxed and enjoyful manner.
And so I established Piano Ecademy, an online piano studio designed to help adults find their inner musician and learn to truly, deeply enjoy music making at the piano. I want my students to identify as musicians and pianists.
MY TEACHING IN A NUTSHELL
I teach to help other adults find their own musical voice and share that with as many (or as little!) people as they choose. I do that by offering flexible, creative and fun piano lessons that inspire and encourage you to continue to learn and grow as a musician and as a pianist.
If you have any questions about myself, my teaching or how I can help you achieve your piano goals, contact me!
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