Cari Burdett lives through music, as anyone who has spent five minutes with her immediately understands. Her life’s path winds through a garden of music studies and teaching, performance, and experimentation.
Following her graduation from McGill University (Montreal) with her Bachelor of Music in Opera Performance, Cari moved on to the Royal Academy of Music in London, England, where she completed her Master’s degree in Voice Performance. She studied a varied repertoire with a focus on new music and composers Mahler, Mussorgsky, Tchaikovsky, Elgar and Britten. Cari’s Master’s degree was designed in collaboration with working composers, giving her the very unusual accomplishment of giving world premiers of several new works, notably Shouts for Herodias: a Melodramatic Scena for solo voice, by Thomas Hyde. She earned many honors, awards and scholarships in the pursuit of both degrees.
As she became a mother, Cari undertook an in-depth study of musical learning and teaching. She wrote her master’s thesis on using music improvisation for the development of the self. Cari became deeply motivated by the importance of movement and music for children and adults, because of their gifts of coordination, intuition, and the freedom to experiment. Her journey through this endeavor was based on the work of her mentor, Par Ahlbom. While in Sweden, Cari studied with Ahlbom for 4 years and returned to continue on this path for two more summers. The teaching models Ahlbom developed in his career as a teacher, composer, improvisation master and student of Anthroposophy strongly influence Cari’s musical practice and her engagement with her students.
Cari’s training and teaching also draw consciously from twelve years of in-depth ballet training and musical theatre experience, and eight years of study in the Alexander Technique. These components add depth to her integrated understanding of health and movement in the body as they relate to the freedom to make music.