Meet a passionate piano teacher who loves sharing her musical knowledge with young and old alike
Zoe Slade has been spreading her love for music through piano, organ and keyboards for over 50 years. “I just love the feeling of making students happy,” she says, adding that she started playing the piano at the age of four. “My mother was a great inspiration to me, she studied in London and guided me through my years playing classical music and jazz. She created a great love for music within me.”
When Zoe left school, she trained with Jack Dowle for a few years, then subsequently ran his music school for four years before deciding to make a go of it on her own. “I had such a passion for my students and there was a great demand. I also had four children, so going on my own meant I could teach at home and still be with them,” says Zoe – who has done many concerts at City Hall and won the South African Yamaha Music Festival twice.
Zoe and Fred’s four children, Kem, John, Sally and Belinda, also have a love for music. And the same goes for their 11 grandchildren. “If you do what you love every day, family life falls into place,” smiles Zoe.
Apart from music, Zoe is also passionate about swimming. “I’ve done the Midmar Mile and the Dolphin Mile, and one day I want to swim from island to island in Croatia.”
So, what makes a good piano player? “The most important thing really is to love music, and wanting to learn and develop a passion for it,” says Zoe. “A good player needs commitment and lots of practise, and it is such an exciting thing if you have these two qualities combined with a love for what you do.”
Zoe inspires many adult students who didn’t have the opportunity to play when they were young. “Now that they have the time, it’s amazing to see how it becomes a hobby for the rest of their lives,” she says. As for children, playing music teaches them commitment, discipline and co-ordination. “But most importantly, it creates a love for music which stays with them for life.”
Many of Zoe’s pupils have represented South Africa and Natal in music competitions. Apart from teaching, Zoe also plays at functions and weddings. *
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