“As a person with perfect pitch, I know the struggles that many of my clients experience. I too was turned off to reading music in my early years. In my mind, I recorded a piece of music in my head and played it with perfection. Thus, repetitive rote instruction merely interfered with my progress.”
I have been a practicing Registered Music Therapist for 44 years, Registered with the American Music Therapy Association. My specialties are teaching piano, guitar and violin to special needs students, though I also engage them in music therapy activities if unable to learn an instrument. As a person with perfect pitch, I was taught by teachers who never fully grasped my ability. By analyzing my own poor experiences with teachers, I began to understand what it took to be a successful music therapist and instructor.
Graduating from Eastern New Mexico University with a bachelor’s degree in music therapy in 1974, the majority of my students have perfect pitch, with a number of those being savants. My goal is to focus on the ability rather than the disability. It is a philosophy that sets me apart from many other teachers and music therapists. By searching for the innate gifts of the students, hidden and unexpected talents are often discovered.