After battling with a long sickness, Noela Hogg, an innovative music teacher and lecturer, passed. It was through her efforts that established the Suzuki Method of music teaching in Australia. Aside from that, she also touched the lives of many teachers, students as well as their families. Her journey with the piano began at a very early age after being encouraged by her mother.
Since birth, Noela had suffered from poor eyesight. In fact, she expected to lose her vision completely by the age of 20. As her mother feared the worst, she did her best to expose Noela to the beauty of music in order to compensate. From an early age, her mother also took her and her sister to musicals and symphony concerts. Thankfully, as the years continued to pass, Noela did not lose her sight completely. However, she did suffer from poor vision for the rest of her life. It didn’t really matter though as her love for music had already been established and it only continued on.
After Noela completed her secondary education at Methodist Ladies’ College, she went on to pursue a bachelor of music degree at the University of Melbourne. Eventually, she graduated and was qualified to teach classroom music. From there, it went on to high school music teaching. She then decided to further her studies to obtain a master of music degree from Melbourne, a masters in education from Deakin and a PhD from Monash University. Before she proceeded to her doctorate, Noela had explored various methods of music teaching. She did try methods developed by Orff, Kodaly, Dalcroze, Yamaha and Suzuki. Although she saw value in each of the methods, it was the Suzuki Method that particularly stood out.
After spending three months studying the Suzuki Method in Matsumoto, observing the teachers of piano, violin and other instruments, she returned back to Melbourne with the determination to try it. She was also one of the first to realise that if this revolutionary method of teaching was to gain in popularity, then there would need to be more well-trained teachers. In other words, the teacher training was of significant importance. Soon after, she received approval to conduct a year-long Suzuki piano teacher-training course, which is the first of its kind in Australia. From there, she went on to schedule ongoing training for both new and experienced teachers alike. Do check out more of the story here.
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