“I’m a classical pianist, but I like to think of myself as a musician and an instructor. I teach private piano lessons, and right now I’m teaching a group class to beginners. I’m also teaching a college course to Goshen College students who are learning to teach themselves, piano pedagogy. As a performer, I perform solo piano and I perform with my husband as the Norell Piano Duo. In different times in my life, I’ve played with different ensembles like Goshen Community Chorale. I get a lot of joy out of playing with ensembles as well as playing solo.
I started piano lessons when I was 5. I took lessons with Marvin Blickenstaff in Goshen at the Goshen College piano prep department, which is kind of what I’m teaching for now. I did group lessons and private lessons every week. It was kind of rigorous; I practiced a lot.
I had this idea in my head I would not major in music and it would be my side thing on my college applications or whatever. When I was a freshman in high school, I was in the Manchester Concerto Competition at Manchester University. I was chosen as a performance award winner even though I actually wasn’t even as prepared as I should have been, but I did get this opportunity to perform a movement of a Mozart concerto with the Manchester Symphony. After I played in that concert, I knew that I wanted to be a piano major, and I actually already knew that I wanted to get my doctorate in piano performance. That was a turning point for me turning to serious piano study.
We have such a wonderful, warm, collegial community at Goshen College with the kind of classical music tradition. I’m really thankful to have this body of colleagues. My husband and I both play with different faculty members here. In the larger community, there are so many just dear, wonderful music appreciators who come to every concert I’m a part of, or I’ll see them at another concert that I’m attending as well. There’s such a love of great music and great art. I feel there’s this close-knit concert-going community here that I’m really thankful for.
There are so many wonderful amateur musicians. I am so impressed with the level of dedication and the interest in music-making among people who have different jobs and are super busy. They want to give up a night of the week and a weekend to put a concert together…I just think that’s really inspiring.”