*Kathleen Nelligan (BA MUSIC HONOURS, THEORY
AND COMPOSITION, 1993)
Dr. B. is beyond any doubt an extraordinary professor and
woman! And it is with pleasure that I complete this "evaluation",
The first lesson I learned from Dr. B. was her teaching
philosophy: "Give a man a fish and you've fed him for
a day. Teach him to fish and you've fed him for a lifetime."
Dr.B. has not taught me jury pieces only, over the last three
years. She has given me the tools so I can learn myself. She
has taught me to understand that learning a piece of music
involves more than easy fingering and correct notes. She has
made me feel where the music goes and to bring out what the
composer intended. I am not there to show off myself. I am
simply the medium through which the music, itself, shows off.
Dr. B. is the only piano teacher I know of (aside from those
who have studied with her) who expects her students to read.
And she teaches us to "imitate" other professionals
– figure skaters, surgeons, watch makers and crane operators,
TV directors and motorcyclists – to learn balance and
coordination, control over the large units of our bodies,
focus and opposition. I have learned as much by analogy as
I have by example. Through this method, Dr. B. integrates
life and life skills into her students' playing – and
By involving herself in more than just the Faculty of Music
(for example the Centre for Theory and Criticism, the Departments
of English, Italian and Film), I believe Dr. B. has so much
more to offer than simply being a "good piano teacher".
Many applied music teachers will profess, "Music is my
life!" I believe this is not so with Dr. B. Life is her
life. And she plants this seed into each of her students.
Whether that seed falls on "fertile soil" or not
depends on the student for, as Zen said, "When the student
is ready, the teacher appears."
Dr. B.'s first hand knowledge of European, American and
Canadian cultures teaches us to appreciate the important aspects
of life. She has great insight and I am disappointed that
none of her suggestions for an improved faculty have ever
been put into practice.
I am grateful to have had the opportunity to study with
Dr. Bratuz. I feel the best of my education during my four
years was due primarily to her. For it was Dr. B. who encouraged
me to become involved outside the faculty as well as within
it. And it was Dr. B. who showed me the correlations between
music and the other aspects of my life.
I wish her all the best in her well-deserved retirement!
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