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Born in Calgary, Alberta and raised in Ontario’s Niagara region, Andrea made friends with her first piano as soon as she could reach it. Always encouraged by her parents, she started piano lessons at age 5. Her first rock band, three 8-year-old piano students on keyboard, tambourine and triangle, enjoyed its height of success performing original compositions “Pink Elephants and Lemonade” and “Eat, Sleep, Play” at the local seniors centre. Inspired by the teacher who helped her with that project, Andrea continued her studies with John Lummen for the next 11 years. With him, she learned classical technique and repertoire, theory and compositional skills, chord-reading and arranging, rock and jazz techniques, improvisation and playing with others, and many invaluable teaching skills.
In 2001, Andrea began teaching private and ensemble music lessons to children and adults of all ages. She has experience and training in working with very young beginners, older adults acquiring new skills, special needs children, groups from diverse cultural backgrounds, and more.
Andrea’s studies at McMaster University focused on developmental psychology, music perception and neuroscience. In her third year, she began studying Music Cognition and soon became involved with research projects on brain responses to complex meters and infant pitch perception, under the supervision of world-renowned music researcher Dr. Laurel Trainor. Andrea’s Honours thesis topic was long-term memory for music in 6-month-old infants.
After graduation, Andrea spent five years as a Research Coordinator in the fields of Auditory Development and Music Cognition. There, she worked with hundreds of infants and children on the development of skills such as key and harmony perception, rhythm, language, attention, memory, and general musical skills. During this time, Andrea coordinated a large research study with Laurel Trainor and Suzuki Teacher Trainer David Gerry, looking at the perceptual, communicative and social effects of active musical participation in infancy using Suzuki Early Childhood Education methods. Inspired by the results of this study and her experiences teaching young children, Andrea completed Suzuki teacher training in both piano and early childhood education in order to put her research into practice. She currently teaches for the highly regarded Sarah McLachlan School of Music, the Trout Lake Community Centre, and at her private studio in East Vancouver.