Knowing Me, Knowing You — Ms Maria Meyer (née Spies) [alumnus]
Instrument(s) / Discipline(s):
Piano, Violin, Music Theory.
Period of study at the NWU School of Music / PU for CHE Department of Music:
Qualifications completed at the NWU / PU for CHE:
Qualifications completed elsewhere:
MMus Piano Performance (UCT)
Suzuki Violin Teacher Training Levels 1-3 (European Suzuki Association)
Notable professional achievements:
• Performing piano solo with the National Chamber Orchestra.
• Winner of Laura Searle Prize for Best Piano Concerto Playing (UCT), 2005.
• Winner of Stellenbosch National Chamber Music Competition as part of Strubenholm Piano Trio, 2008.
• Vienna Master classes: Receiving diploma with distinction (piano), 2007.
Current professional position / occupation:
Part-time private teacher: Piano, Suzuki Violin and Music Theory.
Freelance violinist for Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra.
Top 5 must-hear music:
Difficult, there are too many.
1. Dvořák — Serenade for Strings
2. Brahms — Cello Sonata in e minor
3. Mendelssohn — Octet
4. JS Bach — 48 Preludes & Fugues
5. Puccini — O Mio Babbino Caro
Which personal music experiences are most memorable to you?
• Hearing in 1995 I Musici at the Salzburger Festspiele play the perfectly graded diminuendo (Dvořák — Serenade for Strings). It moved me so much, I decided there and then that I wanted to study music after school.
• Living in Vienna for 18 months.
• Playing Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 4 at the Laura Searle Competition. It was an out-of-this-world experience.
Top 5 must-read books:
1. Mere Christianity by CS Lewis
2. The Art of Happiness by The holiness the Dalai Lama & Howard C. Cutler
3. Crime and Punishment by Dostoyevsky
4. Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
5. The Talent Code by Daniel Coyle
• “First, there is the love of the child. Second, the love of teaching the child and third, the love of the music being taught to the child. But the child always comes first”. — Shinichi Suzuki
• “The greatest mistake you can make is to be continually fearing you will make one”. — Elbert Hubbard
• “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them”. — Albert Einstein
Top 5 must-see movies:
2. The boy in the striped pyjamas
4. X-Men movies
Which television show(s) can you watch over and over again?
Cannot think of any.
Toasted cheese and tomato sandwich.
How do you relax?
Sleep, read, swim, run, do something outside in nature. Now, while having a baby, sleep comes to mind first
Loving husband, Neil, who is the only man who could ever put up with me. Son, Neil(tjie), 14 months old, most adorable in the whole world and youngest boss I have ever had.
Which places would you still like to visit?
Basically most of the globe. First stop would be the Angel Falls in Venezuela.
What are your funniest / fondest memories of your time at the Conservatory?
Café Lattés at Die Akker with friends during practice breaks.