Joan Blackman

Joan Blackman

Violin teacher aims to motivate students

NANAIMO – Joan Blackman brings experience to the Nanaimo Conservatory of Music.

Joan Blackman knows what it is like preforming on the big stage.

As a violinist, she has performed with the Vancouver Symphony, Victoria Symphony, CBC Radio Orchestra, played chamber music with groups such as the Purcell String Quartet  and Penderecki String Quartet and appeared  at countless festivals including the Banff Festival Orchestra.

Now, Blackman will share her experiences with students in the Harbour City as a faculty member with the Nanaimo Conservatory of Music, who hired her earlier this year.

“It seemed like a really good fit … it seemed like a really nice place,” Blackman said.

Blackman has no shortage of teaching experience, having previously taught at institutions such as the University of British Columbia, Kwantlen College, Vancouver Academy of Music, the Symphony Orchestra Academy of the Pacific and the VSO School of Music.

The Salt Spring Island resident says that as a violin teacher she wants to create a spark for students.

“I want them to see the big picture. I want them to know what it is out there in the big, wide world but I also want them to know how fun it is to play the violin,” she said. “Basically I would like to light a fire under their butts and get them so enthusiastic that it will take them anywhere they want to go. “

Blackman says her prior experience as a performer will be of benefit to her students.

“I spent 28 years with the Vancouver Symphony … it was a great education in how to actually do it and to deal with nerves,” she said. “If they [students] have nerves, I know how to help them with that.”

The Internet has helped change the music industry and the way people learn instruments. Blackman says sites such as YouTube have helped make learning the violin more accessible than in previous generations and that the proper guidance, it can be an effective tool for students and teachers.

“With the right guidance they can have access to the world’s best,” Blackman said. “It really augments what I am telling them.”

Blackman is already enjoying her time at the conservatory and says her students have been wonderful.

“It has been great,” she said. “Every student I have there has a great attitude.”arts@nanaimobulletin.comTwitter: @npescod


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