On Music Education: Clara has a way of relating to students of any age group. She helps foster a love of music while maintaining very productive lessons. She has a patient approach and tailors her teaching style to meet the individual needs and personality type of each student. She takes the time to get to know the students beyond their musical studies, and always inquires about what is going on in their lives outside of music lessons. She sees the person first and the result is a powerful bond that inspires genuine comfort and a very real enthusiasm for learning. Clara is a fantastic teacher, but she is also musically gifted in her own right. Clara is a multi-instrumentalist -- which is so helpful to us because it means I only have to employ one music teacher to teach my kids piano and guitar. Indeed, I appreciated one week where she brought the oboe to their lessons to let them try the instrument and give them exposure to new sounds. In addition to her amazing ability to pick up any instrument, I have heard several of the songs she has written and have been stunned by the depth of her songwriting and vocal abilities. At student recitals, I have also heard songs written and performed by her students with her skilled guidance. I have known Clara for many years now and truly consider her part of our family. While we respect her talent immensely, we also all adore her personally.” - Amy K.
On musical enrichment for people with dementia: My mother’s eyes always light up when I tell her Clara is coming over to sing. My mom has Alzheimer’s and due to memory loss she does not want to leave her room and has a hard time having a conversation with her family. But she is a different person when Clara walks into the room with her guitar. She sits up and is ready to sing and enjoy the music. Even though my mom often forgets my name, she is able to remember words to songs. It is amazing to see a part of her memory that still functions. Clara has done an excellent job of finding songs that my mom likes to sing, and also incorporating memory tasks, such as hand movements to go along with certain songs. Clara might introduce a new song and then the next week, she is able to gauge my mom’s memory of either the lyrics or the melody. It has been awful to watch my mom suffer with this disease, but it warms my heart that there is an activity that excites and engages her and makes her smile. Music is a language that luckily my mother has not forgotten!” - K.N., Mill Valley - daughter and caregiver for someone with Alzheimer's