NEW GLASGOW – Learning the piano, New Glasgow music teacher Joy Shaw says, is similar to mastering a new language.
Luke Henderson and Victoria Dunn were two of 28 medalists in the Maritimes for the Mount Allison Local Centre Examinations in Music, both taught by piano teacher Joy Shaw. AMANDA JESS – THE NEWS
If that’s the case, two of her students are nearly bilingual after earning medals in their grade level for their Mount Allison Local Centre Examinations.
“It’s a whole world that will stay with you even when you can’t walk,” Shaw said about music.
Luke Henderson, 15, and Victoria Dunn, 13, were each invited to perform in a concert of medalists at Mount Allison University.
There were 225 exams from students across the Maritimes. Twenty-eight won medals with their score of 85 or higher across 10 grades.
For Dunn, it was her first medal.
“I thought I deserved it because I practised a lot,” she said of her Grade 3 mark of 93.
Though it wasn’t Henderson’s first medal or concert, he still felt proud of himself for his mark of 86 in Grade 7.
He also enjoyed the opportunity to meet other young pianists from the Maritimes who are studying the same things.
They’ve both performed locally in the New Glasgow Music Festival – Henderson in piano, violin, trumpet, choir, and band and Dunn in piano, choir, band and flute.
Shaw suspects the Royal Conservatory of Music line of exams may be more popular in the area, but she prefers to put her students through Mount Allison because she likes the atmosphere and went through it herself.
Both have been studying piano for many years, Henderson for 12 and Dunn for five.
Henderson said his mother signed him up for Music For Young Children, and continued to encourage him.
Having a good teacher helped to keep him in piano, as well as a love for music.
Dunn started because her friend, Emma, played, and she thought it would be nice to do it together.
She remembers visiting her aunt in Edmonton, who owned the instrument, as a five-year-old.
“I was playing her piano, but I didn’t really know how to,” she said. “I just like it,” she said simply.
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