Julie began her music career at the age of 12 years old singing in the church choir. Her mother encouraged this by starting her in voice lessons with one Sister Celina of St. Joseph’s Convent in Red Deer, Alberta. Sister Celina was one very strict, crabby, demanding, but lovable nun. From there, she went on to study with several well respected vocal teachers in her town and started to compete in the Kiwanis Music Festival where she won several top honors. From there, Julie started to study her secret love: the PIANO! She studied under several classical teachers at home, as well as learning how to chord and improvise with the help of a friend in her church.
While classical studies were good, Julie discovered the world of pop and jazz when she moved to the big city of Edmonton in 1986. This passion led her to Grant MacEwan Community College where she earned a Diploma in Jazz Studies. During this time, she directed a church music department, trained singers and musicians, played and performed, and taught in a musical theatre school. These activities necessitated the need for custom music charts and arrangements that would work for small orchestras, choirs, and vocal groups, so Julie set about learning the popular music notation software known as Finale. Excited about the possibilities of the digital music world, she started to explore the new music apps, websites, and software that may be the most useful in regards to writing, arranging, composing, and teaching voice and piano. Julie says, “These days one can find a piece of music your student wants to perform, download it in the key you need and start to learn it within the first 5 minutes of a lesson, or, one can find an app that provides a back up rhythm section that your up and coming pop pianist can play along with – the possibilities are endless!”
Meanwhile, crafting classes that suit the “student in front of me” is her daily challenge. Julie uses the computer/technology to great advantage with this goal in mind. In the days ahead, Julie hopes to have her talented students perform a few of her arrangements that will eventually be posted on our website – so stay tuned!
In her down time, she loves to dabble in calligraphy, doodle, read, sip coffee, and decorate: “The world should not only sound good, it should look good too!”
In addition to the guidelines set out by Edmonton Academy of Music, I have a few personal guidelines for my private students as well. They are as follows:
- Please remember your material.* Even though I have electronic copies and accompanist copies of most everything, there should be personal markings on your music that you need to refer to. The weekly notes that I give you are very important and sufficient paper for them should be included with your binders, or a separate notebook specifically for them should be provided.
- Please be careful of too much perfume/body spray – we are in a small space for a long enough period of time and I may be allergic to you!
- Make up lessons will be discussed and booked as soon as my schedule allows and at a time that is the best possible for your schedule. However, if you miss a booked make up class or cancel at the last minute (which unfortunately happens) then the missed class will be forfeited.
- If you have a sibling bookending your lesson time and they cannot make their class, please have them arrange a make up class with me instead of assuming you can take their place. Their time is their time and is already planned by me.
- If you are the last student of the day and you are not here by 15 minutes into your allotted time slot, then you will be marked absent and no make up class shall be provided.
I do not have copies of everyone’s repertoire, therefore, you need to remember your books!