Spotlight on Music Teacher, Dr. Marie Trudeau

Spotlight on Music Teacher, Dr. Marie Trudeau

Marie Trudeau’s resume is quite impressive. A New Jersey-based freelance oboist from Detroit, she has performed on renowned stages from Shenzhen, China to Carnegie Hall, New York. She is a member of the Allentown Symphony and principal of Garden State Philharmonic. She is baroque oboe in residence with the Rutgers Baroque Players, and plays oboe’s ancestor instrument, the two-keyed baroque oboe.

Dr. Trudeau’s love for music began when she was in Middle School. “I fell asleep with the classical station from either Detroit or Windsor, Canada in my Walkman headphones,” she recalls. Her grandmother was an amateur pianist, but she suspects her motivation to practice really came from “feeling competitive against [her] older sister, a flutist.” She explains it this way: “She was better at most things academically, but I had a greater affinity for music. Music quickly began feeling like a family member.”

Though she is often associated with classical music, Dr. Trudeau enjoys listening to rap as well.  “I used to listen to rap in my younger years,” she admits.  Her favorite artist?  “Someone I can’t turn off, who is considered a rap artist, is Lizzo. She is a force of independence, self-love, and strength. She’s also funny.”

When she is not teaching, practicing or performing, Dr. Trudeau enjoys reed making. “I have to painstakingly scrape on cane to make my mouthpieces, and I do it for hours each week.”  This she does in between hiking, exploring cities, and visiting antique auctions.  A musician and teacher, artist and explorer, Dr. Trudeau brings that magical combination of rhythm, melody and joy to students at Lewis.

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Princeton, NJ 08540

Voice: (609) 924-8120
Fax: (609) 924-5512

© 2020 The Lewis School of Princeton

 

Teachers in perfect harmony

Teachers in perfect harmony

Teachers in Perfect Harmony

      Tonight is the night. The audience will be waiting in Yale’s Marquand Chapel at four o’clock whether she is ready or not, though of course she will be. She’s been practicing since she was a four year old girl in Ireland, sitting with the same piano teacher her mother had when she was a child. Her confidence, along with years of study and rehearsal, helps her relax and conserve the energy she’ll need to conduct her orchestra in just a few short hours. She decides to bake scones.

      On the other side of the world, another musician is preparing for the concert of a lifetime. She has just flown across the world to perform for an audience of 10,000. To get herself ready, the diligent musician is warming up the reeds she made for her oboe. After the pieces are perfectly fitted and ready, it’s practice, practice, practice until show time. Confident and methodical, she’s prepared to give it all she’s got.

      These two musicians, each incredibly disciplined and inspired, yet distinct in their approach to the craft, are music teachers at The Lewis School.

Hannah Carr, The Lewis School

Hannah Carr

      Hannah Carr grew up in Ireland and plays piano and organ. Leading up to a performance, you will likely find Ms. Carr indulging in some rest and rejuvenation, a tradition that dates back to her degree recital at the Yale Institute for Sacred Music. “I prepared by baking scones for the reception,” she said. “I think it is often better to relax before something like that, whenever possible.” Today Ms. Carr counts the Yale recital as one of her proudest achievements.

      Dr. Marie Trudeau is also a trained pianist, in addition to playing oboe, English horn and baroque oboe. Her knowledge and appreciation for her instruments began when she was ten years old. Unlike Ms. Carr, Dr. Trudeau was raised in a home without much music. “I had to discover it myself,” said Dr. Trudeau. She joined the school band playing the oboe and loved it from the start. The student-turned-professional musician recently returned from a whirlwind trip to perform in China. “The city spent $140,000,000 to light up the buildings in the background,” she said about the event. “The audience wanted pictures and selfies with us after.” To Dr. Trudeau, this experience was the most memorable of her career thus far.

Dr Marie Trudeau The Lewis School music teacher

Dr. Marie Trudeau

      Dr. Trudeau prepares for a performance by making reeds for her instrument. “I have to make my own mouthpieces for oboe,” she said. “It’s the most difficult part about the instrument and requires several hours each week. I warm up slowly and practice the parts. Making sure I’m solid in my own sound and part makes the entire orchestra better, like a team.”

      Ms. Carr and Dr. Trudeau joined Lewis in the Fall of 2017 and the Spring of 2018, respectively. Along with teaching music during the day and leading choir after school, they have conducted and contributed to several performances in their time at Lewis.

      “I want my students to discover that there is more to music than what they hear on the radio,” said Dr. Trudeau. “I want them to get a full perspective of what music has given to humanity in a broader historical context.” Ms. Carr is eager to teach the students the importance of studying and practicing. “The process can often be more enjoyable than the product,” she said. In order to be a successful music student, “a love of music is most important,” according to Ms. Carr. Dr. Trudeau echoes that same sentiment, advising students to “listen often and to a lot of music!”

      Both teachers see the potential in their students. “Every student at The Lewis School has music ability,” said Dr. Trudeau. “I’ve seen it! And they inspire me every day.” One such student is Sammy Kravitz, who will join Ms. Carr’s beloved womens’ choir when they perform in Hoboken, New Jersey mid-December. Sammy will join as the choir’s professional musician.

      When they are not practicing, teaching or performing, Ms. Carr loves to cook, paint, and relax with her new baby. You might find Dr. Trudeau at the beach, exercising or spending time with her two orange cats.

      Two musicians, both with nearly a lifetime of exposure and practice, each incredibly disciplined and inspired, yet uniquely distinct in their approach to the craft. Their journeys have led them both to The Lewis School where they are like two separate notes working together to create a beautiful harmony for their students.

53 Bayard Lane
Princeton, NJ 08540

Voice: (609) 924-8120
Fax: (609) 924-5512

© 2020 The Lewis School of Princeton

 

Princeton Magazine Q&A with Chantra Reinman

Princeton Magazine Q&A with Chantra Reinman

The spotlight on our new Assistant Head of School, Chantra Reinman, is in the latest issue of Princeton Magazine! She talks about the mission of The Lewis School, her storied background in international education, and how she brought Lewis teaching and learning approaches developed by Marsha Gaynor Lewis for The Lewis School across the world. Read the full interview here.

53 Bayard Lane
Princeton, NJ 08540

Voice: (609) 924-8120
Fax: (609) 924-5512

© 2020 The Lewis School of Princeton

 

Lewis School Teacher Brings Lewis Approach to Ghana

Lewis School Teacher Brings Lewis Approach to Ghana

This summer, Lewis master teacher and learning specialist, Keara Kilpatrick, was invited to teach at an orphanage in Ghana, West Africa. As a Lewis educator, she took the teaching and learning approaches developed by Marsha Gaynor Lewis for The Lewis School to children and teachers at Countryside Children Orphanage and School in Awutu Bawjiase. Located in the central region of the country, the orphanage and school lack basic necessities, such as running water for health and hygiene, and teachers for the many students in need. After two weeks in Africa, Miss Kilpatrick walked away with a renewed sense of gratitude and humility.

The Countryside Children’s Orphanage houses over one hundred children, from infants to adults in their 20’s. The school is part of the orphanage, where teachers are often the orphans who have become adults. Like the rest of the country, there are not enough teachers. On Miss Kilpatrick’s first day, she was scheduled to teach a class of young children, when next door, she discovered another full class, whose teacher was absent. She combined both classes, took out her backpack, and began teaching them all. Among a diverse resource of multisensory strategies and techniques, Miss Kilpatrick taught the original Lewis School Object Box to enhance phonics, reading, spelling, and writing.

Miss Kilpatrick’s interaction with the children and their teachers provided great opportunity for success through new forms of learning. For the children, the alphabet codes began to make sense. And for Miss Kilpatrick, she came to appreciate the resilience of those who have so little and the kindness of strangers when that is all there is to give.

Miss Kilpatrick’s compassion and commitment not only reflect a teacher who champions all children, but also a school whose mission is realized both at home and abroad.

53 Bayard Lane
Princeton, NJ 08540

Voice: (609) 924-8120
Fax: (609) 924-5512

© 2020 The Lewis School of Princeton