Susan McCaffery - Flute
My first experience of a musical instrument was a borrowed wooden recorder at an elementary school in a rather musically-famous town called Liverpool, England. This was soon followed by flute and then piano. Weekly flute lessons for over 10 years resulted in beginner through advanced certifications from the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music, including music theory. Around age 11, I began piano lessons for a couple of years with Dennis Rattle, father of Sir Simon Rattle of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. For much of my childhood, I played music daily with others, including a flute choir, orchestra, and vocal choir, leading to many performances in each case. Music helped keep my spirit alive through a tough and strict educational system.
I later completed a Bachelor’s honors degree in mathematics at the University of Leeds, England, where I was a regular member of the university wind band. Next up was a Ph.D. in applied mathematics, before moving to Colorado in 1997. Since then, my traditional music background has been widely expanded. For a year and a half, I studied in Boulder with sitar maestro Roshan Jamal Bhartiya. Through his oral-teaching tradition, he transmitted many Indian scales and “ragas” to me on my flute. Multi-instrument ensembles with Roshan gave valuable experience in perfection of timing and rhythm. Subsequent piano lessons with Michael Petersen in Longmont introduced me to the world of jazz and improvisation. I am currently active in both flute and piano with groups in Denver and Boulder, with another diverse genre of Caucasian and Central-Asian folk and religious music, which I find both meditative and deeply touching. I have been teaching flute for over five years, and have also given the occasional piano lesson. My search in both studying and teaching is for the joy, heart, meaning, and power of music. Through it, we can discover who we are and how to express ourselves. It offers the opportunity to develop our inherent potential by reaching further inside of ourselves, not just for musical ability but for everyday qualities such as self-confidence and exchange with others. Music is beautiful, vast, and multi-dimensional: a universe waiting to be explored!
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