Andrea Rodall - Voice & Piano
Music has been a part of my life since I can remember, a big part of family life when I was growing up. I was enrolled in piano lessons at the age of 7 and loved it from the start, and when I was 13 we added singing lessons to my after school activities. I performed whenever I could – music festivals, plays and musicals, choir and band – and I took Royal Conservatory Exams in both voice and piano. When in high school, I decided I wanted to pursue music in University, and in 2003 I received my BMUS with distinction from the University of Calgary.
It was while I was studying at UofC, in the third year of my studies, that I began teaching part time at a local music studio and I discovered how much I loved working with students. I continued to teach throughout my time in Calgary as well as in Nanaimo once I moved to Vancouver Island in 2004.
In 2010 I opened Joy of Music Studio from my home, and have enjoyed building an in home studio I can be proud of. As both the only teacher and the owner, I can put all my time and energy into what I love – teaching.
I have also continued performing as a singer and in 2015 I returned to school to complete my MMUS in vocal performance. I continue to perform on the island, most frequently as a soloist in Oratorio or recital work.
My first priority as a teacher is to provide a fun and caring environment where a student can be themselves and flourish musically. In my experience, the relationship between teacher and student can make or break a student’s pursuit of musical studies, and I work hard to develop successful relationships with each student, whether child, teen or adult. This relationship allows me to get to know my STUDENT’s musical goals, and shape their lessons to THEIR long term musical goals, rather than my own. It also creates a positive learning environment that students and families choose to return to year after year.
Students in my studio are gently encouraged but not forced to perform. A principal I uphold is that music is a personal journey, and students who do not wish to share their journey by performing still deserve instruction and encouragement, even if they will only ever play or sing for themselves. For those who DO enjoy performing, I offer a variety of opportunities. When live performances are possible I hold two in person recitals each year, and performing in our local music festival is always an exciting option. Thanks to the pandemic, I also offer a variety of digital performance opportunities, which also allows some more reluctant performers to bravely get their feet wet – online recitals and small performance groups, an audio or video recording to be sent out to family, and a video recital are some of the options I can offer. I like to tell my students its okay to not want to perform, but if there is a tiny part of you that WANTS to be comfortable performing, we can take baby steps together to help you get there!
Exam work in voice and piano is also encouraged but not necessary. For some students that may feel performance shy, exams can be a surprisingly safe option for measuring progress as there is only one examiner to perform for, rather than a whole room of people. The decision to take an exam is discussed and decided on with the student, parent and myself together
No matter where a student’s goals are leading them, I prioritize musical understanding to create well rounded and independent musicians. It is not unusual for a student to start a lesson learning “Ode to Joy” and finishing it by hearing and seeing and video of a symphony playing an excerpt from Beethoven’s 9th, followed by a discussion of what instruments make up an orchestra, what a symphony is, what a musical theme is, and maybe even a chat about Beethoven!