Meet Abbie


Abbie has been learning the violin for about a year now and her love for music is the reason I selected her for the first student snapshot. This is a little glimpse of Abbie’s dreams and goals and the journey she has begun to achieve them.

Abbie simply loves ABBA. Before she could play a single note on her violin, she had her music books all lined up and knew exactly what songs she wanted to learn (Queen and David Bowie may make an appearance on that wish list too). NB: There may have been some singing during the making of this interview.

How old were you when you started learning violin?

I just turned 6.

What made you choose violin?

I thought maybe I’d like violin and I wanted to learn how to play Mamma Mia, Starman and Ground Control to Major Tom (Space Oddity) on an instrument.

What’s your favourite song?

I have two favourite songs: Mamma Mia and Super Trouper by ABBA.

What’s your favourite colour?

Purple or pink, if I can’t say rainbow.

And what about your favourite thing to do?

My favourite things to do are listening to music, singing and hugging my mum.

What do you think is the hardest thing about learning violin?

Learning new songs.

What’s the best thing about learning violin?

I enjoy it because it’s fun.

How does music make you feel?

Great! It makes me very happy.

Abbie tells me she’s looking forward to being able to play her favourite songs and I have no doubt that if we check in with Abbie again later in the year we’ll find her playing AND singing Mamma Mia.

The end of another year....

With another year wrapping up I thought I’d take the opportunity at this time to introduce myself as a teacher to those who don’t know me and for those who do to fill everyone in on some of the wonderful new changes I’ll be introducing in the coming year.

Firstly, it’s been a very encouraging and fulfilling time for me this year and I’ve enjoyed it immensely as a teacher. I’ve seen a large number of students sit practical exams and it was thrilling to watch them navigate the process. For all the hard work put in, each student really achieved something they could be proud of. I know their families and myself also felt the same.

I’ve also had the pleasure of starting the ‘violin journey’ with a number of new students in recent terms. This is something that always gives me a lot of joy as not only do I love teaching but when a student starts to see their hard work pay off and discover they recognise a tune they’ve just mastered…. well, that’s priceless.

On a more personal level, I was asked by a close friend to perform a series of songs at her wedding ceremony at the beginning of November. Not only was it an honour to do so it was also a very enjoyable challenge. We worked out the list of songs together and then I started practising (yes, teachers do practice!), morning, noon and night.  It was such a pleasure to contribute at my friends beautiful day and while I’m normally quite shy about performing I realised that if I could fit it in to my already crazy schedule then I would be performing at weddings every other weekend.


This holiday season I’m heading back to Western Australia, where I grew up, to visit family and friends. After a few days with family, I’ll head up the West Coast for a bit of relaxation stopping at a few towns along the way. I’m probably just a little bit biased (ok, maybe a lot) but WA does have some of the best coast line in Australia and when you add in some snorkelling at the Ningaloo Reef, an opportunity to see the annual migration of female turtles coming in to lay their eggs in Coral Bay and the amazing sunsets that happen every single night without fail - it’s going to be hard not to enjoy it . We most likely won’t get to see any turtle hatchlings as we’re a little early for that (turtle hatchling season is February/March) but I love turtles so I’ll be really happy if we happen to spot any coming in to lay their eggs.


As many of you already know, over the holidays I’ll also be preparing new programs. Some we’ve discussed and some I’ve been ruminating on for awhile. Starting with the next blog, each month I’ll be doing a Student Snapshot where selected students will tell us what motivated them to pursue learning the violin, what challenges they’ve faced and what they want to focus on this year. It truly is a unique experience to learn what is commonly referred to as the hardest instrument of all but I’m sure this is going to be a delightful addition to the blog and I know we’ll all enjoy learning about each other’s musical journeys.

I also aim to start addressing some common questions and challenges that come up in nearly every violinist’s journey and hopefully the way I teach and strive to help others learn will become clearer. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed reading about some of the old masters and how they used to teach and the techniques they used centuries ago and I have to admit, some of the results I’ve seen from implementing these strategies motivate me to want to keep learning from them myself.

I look forward to the year ahead and am very sure that it’s going to be full of motivating achievements, challenges and surprises.