Music has been a comforting constant throughout Maddie’s life. With her mother teaching piano and older sister practicing and developing into a capable artist her childhood was filled with beautiful music and dedicated learning. As she began taking lessons her love of piano increased. She would play for hours, working through the piles of music inside her mother’s cedar chest. If she was not playing, she was listening. Music was a new language, a mode of expression she could not get enough of. She is overwhelmingly grateful to her mother and other childhood teachers for directing her passion and helping her develop fluency.
After auditioning for the piano program at the University of Utah, she showed up for her first day of classes bursting with excitement. By the end of the day she was in tears, crushed by the amount of knowledge she lacked. She sat through music theory and history classes and a piano lesson trying to understand the vocabulary and concepts her teachers used. She went from feeling comfortable in her talent to doubting herself and her ability to learn and perform at such a high level. That night she did not sleep, reading ahead in her textbooks and researching online, determined to not only catch up, but to get ahead. When the sun rose she had a new outlook. She had been gifted with a whole new world to explore. There was more to music than she ever imagined. With the help of her teachers and classmates she dove into the deep end, making many mistakes, but ultimately finding a greater understanding of music and her own personality. Once she overcame the fear and intimidation she realized how blessed she was to learn, collaborate, perform, and share her love with the world. Going through that experience not only set a fire under her to continue moving forward but also informed her future teaching philosophy.
Maddie believes music is not about perfection, but instead about honest connection and communication. It is about living in the present moment and sharing an experience with the people you care about. Existing inside a moment of creation is an energizing and spiritual experience. Children can feel this just as fully as adults. They are already active beings capable of understanding and learning when they find comfortable environments and passionate teachers. Nothing has given Maddie more fulfillment than watching her students set and achieve goals, learn to make steady and constant progress, and find confidence in their ability. As they become more comfortable at the piano they learn to treat mistakes as part of the learning process and face the intimidation of trying something new.
In life we all face fear. We try to do our best as difficult decisions come our way. In attempting to do the right thing and avoid the wrong we often forget to be thankful for the chance to be alive. Music is the same. Playing and performing can be difficult. We fear what will happen if we make a mistake, but a wrong note never ruins a song. It only makes us remember the artist is human and appreciate their choice to spend time filling the world with beauty. Maddie hopes to help her students realize the road to accomplishment and confidence takes facing hard things, admitting when we need help, and finding beauty and enjoyment in each moment we are blessed with. She believes children are already artists who just need honest coaching and calm encouragement to let their inner selves be seen.