A Bit About My Music Background
My parents ran their own music school from a small rural town in the Waikato district of New Zealand. They taught a wide range of orchestral musical instruments, as well as piano, and used to travel around the area with their mobile music studio (a caravan with a piano in the back) to various schools in the surrounding towns.
I am the youngest of five and I grew up hearing music lessons in our home from morning till night. Being curious, I worked my way round the instruments available for hire, learning how to play them. We all learned the piano and at least one other instrument. For me it was piano and violin.
Later on I studied double bass at high school and university. In more recent years I focused on the ‘cello. But I was always messing around on the piano, making up stuff, and this led to studying composition at the University of Canterbury, where I earned my Bachelor of Music degree, majoring in composition.
After meeting my husband, Robin, we went and worked with a people group in Southeast Asia, working with the local community in vernacular literacy and scripture translation in their previously unwritten language. I was eager to encourage them to explore the use of their own cultural style of music to express their faith. To this end I up-skilled with a short post-grad course in the USA.
Following this, I wrote some songs as close to the local music style as I could to encourage the community to not lose their musical heritage, but foster it through new avenues. We were delighted with the positive response.
During this time I was also teaching music at an international school, responsible for all musical events, including writing six musicals (with Robin writing script and lyrics). I also nurtured my first orchestra of expat musicians (partly pictured).
Three Significant Influences
Now back living in Christchurch, New Zealand, I am refining my own piano teaching material which I want to share with you. This has come from many of the ideas arising out of lessons I have created to cover particular learning areas over the last 30 years. I owe a great debt to three members of my family:
Many foundational ideas have come from a long apprenticeship with my talented mother, Maida Bousfield, who passed away in 2012. A qualified school teacher, she also taught thousands of individuals in her lifetime as an instrument music teacher. As someone who was always looking for new ways to do things, I think she would have taught via the internet if it had been possible in her time.
My father, Errol Bousfield, passed away when I was 25. He had been taught music through the Salvation Army, who had raised him completely and faithfully in one of their orphan homes from when he was a baby. He often expressed how proud he was of his children. He was a natural encourager and I have been told I am like him in this. It was one of the greatest gifts he gave me.
Now one of my sons, Fraser, is encouraging me to share my gifts online and helping me through the process. I trust that through my blog and what I have to offer on this website many future musicians will be encouraged to take their first strong steps on their musical journey.