I was raised in a musical family with singing and the piano always happening. Piano lessons started at 4 yrs, quickly to include choir, recorders, and at 13 a year of violin, was followed closely by flute which with piano and and choirs continuing through school and university. With entry to music teaching in schools guitar became a familiar tool of accompaniment soon the focus of very popular lunchtime classes in high schools as accompaniment for singing Beatles, Simon and Garfunkel, Dylan, Judy Collins, Seekers and a host of others.
In Canada I took courses in non-Western music and finally delved deeper into blues and jazz, long craved. Although the piano was still a big love, the flute was portable and linked me as a muso with many groups during a 15-month period on the road. Returning to Australia then gave me three decades of playing flute with bands (folk-rock, blues, latin and jazz) latterly as lead vocal and improvising flute.
In the 80s I also ran community classes “Fundamentals of Jazz Improvisation” for the WEA and a number of evening colleges and unis in Sydney. These were highly acclaimed by many students who included music teachers, student music teachers, budding musicians some of whom I now know to have achieved renown, and instrumentalists from many lifepaths who were interested in learning to improvise. Simon Barker assisted by drumming for such classes, and Ben Butler progressed to renown as a guitarist in New York. 2MBS-FM and ABC Radio National recorded segments of these classes, and some interviews, for their documentary presentations about the Improvisation course.
Post-graduate study went in-depth to Indian, Turkish and Japanese melodic improvisation, with shakuhachi lessons from Riley Lee. I still enjoy teaching and playing music, swimming, painting and gardening; as well as chatting, laughing, walking, swim/play dog at Valentine, researching odd questions online.
My current students are playing pre-composed piano pieces, mostly classical and jazz, some blues and popular, as well as improvising music in such styles or freely!