In celebration of our 60th anniversary, we will feature NSMS alumni as part of our Alumni Spotlight series throughout 2020.
Which years were you at NSMS?
I was a student at NSMS from 1975-1978.
Who were your teachers?
Several, including Frances Clark.
What is a favorite NSMS memory?
My fondest memory of being at the NSMS was catching Frances Clark taking a break in the kitchen when she would ask me to come in for a chat. Ms. Clark was larger than life to me and having the opportunity to chat with her was very special. Our ‘chat’ was more like a grandmother telling you her life experiences, which was her way of giving me life lessons. I appreciated every piece of advice she gave me. This helped shape my teenage years. She was intelligent, passionate and most of all caring.
This is not to say she was not tough as a teacher. She expected everyone to perform on cue the way she explained, usually expressed vocally with her arms. She never raised her deep voice but her eyes told you everything. Those were the most intense moments then, yet the most endearing lessons to behold today.
What are you doing now?
Ms. Clark was expecting me to study music in college, but to her disappointment I studied science. I spent most of my early days raising two daughters while working in various areas, including at the Music Department at The Lawrenceville School. My husband and I have had an IT consulting firm for over 30 years, but now I mostly enjoy traveling around the world. We also just became grandparents this year.
What role does your education at NSMS play in your life today?
The foundation NSMS gave me has always played a large part in my life, especially during the years when my daughters were studying music. I have created websites providing resources for parents with children studying piano, created & sold lesson books, and taught music theory to prepare students for the ABRSM exams. I also used The Music Tree series for my private students. All of these endeavors would not have been possible without my experience at NSMS. Today, I enjoy playing the piano more than ever, and continue to use techniques Ms. Clark taught me all those years ago. Her insights and encouragement will always be a source of inspiration.
Are you an NSMS Alum? We'd love to hear from you. Please complete this alumni connection form.