When I was 6 years old I told my teacher that I wanted to be a music teacher. I struggled academically and was behind in a lot of areas, so this dream seemed pretty far fetched at the time. I had piano lessons from age 10 to 11, we had borrowed my aunt’s piano, but then we moved and discontinued lessons, making my dream even harder to get to. As a kid I had been to a few piano competitions and recitals that other kids in our church and homeschool group were in. I wanted the chance to perform, but the academic and other struggles I was facing made that stage look far away.
It wasn’t until I was in my 20’s that I could afford lessons, but I wasn’t always able to afford them consistently. I would go places where there was a piano, to teach myself what I could. My perspective, and therefore my reality, growing up with my disability was that those were opportunities for kids that were simply more lucky in life than I was.
After getting myself back into school and into the music program, I finally had consistent lessons, I began teaching lessons on my own, and one day I changed my way of thinking. I didn’t need to be “lucky” to experience success in the music field. I needed self discipline, and better yet, what if I was able to educate myself and formally open opportunities to other people with disabilities? In 2020 I founded The Piano Competition for People with Disabilities. This competition is open to anyone, of any skill level and age, who has any kind of cognitive or hysical disability. I am the Artistic Director of the Competition. Due to Covid, this competition will be online. There will be a beginner, intermediate and advanced division. Video submissions of any song you want to play can be submitted, this includes composition and the music does not need to be memorized. At some point down the road I would like to have the competition at venues in different cities at a nice recital hall, and maybe one day, at Carnegie Hall! I currently teach piano online as well. My pages with more info about the Competition can be found on Facebook.