What was your first reaction when you first arrived to Guangzhou?
I first came to Guangzhou a year ago in November 2015, I thought everything was very spread out in the city and I noticed the different sounds between Cantonese and Mandarin to my ears.
What is the best thing about being a Juilliard Curriculum Specialist?
The best thing is the variety of things that I get to do. I think a lot about music related to my training, I do a lot of writing which I enjoyed doing in university and I get to travel. I feel very lucky.
Why is music important in education?
Music is important because it teaches incredibly transferrable skills. I think successful musicians are those who think critically, are expressive and are very in touch with their own ideas and feelings about things. I believe that they are successful qualities to have in any field.
Who was your role model growing up and why?
I look up to my mother; she is also a classical musician, who teaches piano at a conservatory in the States. Her work ethic and dedication really inspires me. She is very practical and doesn’t mince words or sugar coat anything, which is a quality that I admire.
Why did you choose to play the Cello?
It's hard to remember now as I started when I was 5. I do have a memory of not wanting to play the violin, actively not choosing violin because my older brother played it. I really liked that the Cello was big and I could be responsible for it.
Do you have any advice for children about choosing which instrument to play?
I think they should see a lot of excellent high quality examples of many instruments so that they are being guided by authentic reactions to the best versions of those instruments. Students should make the most of the many musicians that are coming to Guangzhou and performing at concerts giving them access to examples of lots of different instruments.
How do you think the Nord Anglia-Juilliard collaboration has benefited students at BSG?
We are only 1 year in but I think that there has already been a shift in the way that I hear students talk about music. I think that they are more thoughtful about music and what they are learning. The teachers are also asking more interesting questions than they already were about ways to express the ways that students feel about music. I was just in a class today and I saw hands shooting up all over the room with students providing more substantively great answers to a lot of the questions.