Amy Nold started piano lessons at age 9, and at 16 continued formal studies at Malaspina Collge (now Vancouver Island University) as a classical piano major. There she was exposed to many jazzers, and got intrigued when she realized she couldn’t play without a written score. Rather than continuing classical studies at University, she opted for four years of lessons in improvisation, blues and jazz studios with Victoria’s best known jazz piano teacher, the late George Essihos, which helped her bridge formal studies into being able to speak the language of music. She was then able to combine the knowledge that came from the study of theory, harmony form, and technique, and the ability to improvise, understand jazz and blues harmony and form, and spontaneously compose. Added to that, she began to sing at age 20, and the combo allowed her to have a successful live performance career as a soloist in world class establishments. Versatility was her musical goal, and she has certainly achieved that, and has performed teaches in many styles. She more recently has worked as a choral accompanist, church musician, and sing-along entertainer, and continues to freelance on piano, voice, and keyboards.
Essentially I’ve come to understand the learning and playing of music as a mindfulness pursuit, (as I also teach Yoga and Mindfulness Meditation.) It’s all about the quality of attention – getting a student’s attention, holding it and building their capacity and interest is paramount for lessons to be successful. I believe in combining traditional musical training including score reading, technique, and theory, with opportunities and encouragement to branch out and learn to play by rote, ear, chord charts, and exploration and experimentation. I teach students that music requires the ability to truly learn to listen!
When appropriate, I allow students to bring in pieces they want to learn, including recordings, which I render down to a level they can approach, or get a score online. I encourage integrating technology for listening, recording, accessing learning resources, and online metronome.
I teach what I call Applied Theory, which is learning key structures more thoroughly by taking chords and scales as starting places for exploring interval and chord relationships. Plus I’m a stickler for teaching rhythm and time keeping as an enjoyable discipline. I also teach those who want to both play and sing simultaneously. In short, I strive to be as comprehensive as possible, to educate future musicians!
Amy teaches on Tuesdays, Thursdays & Saturdays.
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