Music has always been a part of my life and my parents exposed me to a wide variety of music since I was a baby. My parents played music to me when I was in the womb and when I was born they had music by Vivaldi playing in the delivery room. I even named my invisible friend Mimi, after the character in Puccini’s La Boheme.
At the age of eight, I chose to play violin because of my favorite cartoon, Little Lulu, who played the instrument. As soon as I started my lessons, my teacher taught me the importance of practice. Every lesson I had to present tapes of my practice to show my teacher not only the quantity but also the quality of my daily practice. Soon after starting the violin, I chose to play the clarinet in 5th grade band. This was my first experience working in an ensemble, which was exciting. I enjoyed having the opportunity to play music with my classmates. Playing in an ensemble also made me interested in playing in orchestra and chamber ensembles with my violin.
During my middle school years, I started with the SONATA program with my violin being my main study. I really gained confidence and grew as young performer through SONATA. Meeting other musicians my age that had similar goals and aspirations was very inspirational. Without a doubt, SONATA was one of the things that gave me the confidence to move to a completely different country to study music at university. I moved to London 3 years ago to continue my musical studies. I studied 2 years at Birmingham Conservatoire before moving to Goldsmiths College, University of London, where I received my Bmus degree. Studying in England for my undergraduate degree was so exciting and challenging. I had the opportunity to study with world class musicians and go to some amazing performances at venues like The Royal Opera House and Wigmore Hall. I also go to travel to Sweden and France to play with orchestra and a chamber group. In my final year of Goldsmiths College, I played at the Queen’s Elisabeth Hall with our orchestra.
Last year I decided that I wanted to continue my studies by going to graduate school to do a Masters in Music Education at Kingston University in England. After doing this intensive one-year degree my plan is to come back to Savannah and share all that I have learned over the years by teaching. I have had a number of great teachers including Yvonne Johnson, Liz Zhou, Bjorn Kleiman, and Devorina Gamalova, and a great support from my church Asbury Memorial Methodist Church. After all these years, I have also continued to have such support and motivation from SONATA. As a teacher, I hope to inspire my students as my mentors and teachers have inspired me.
Effie is now a SONATA, Inc. teacher.