“Over many years, I have found my teaching responsibilities to be a joy that I look forward to each day. It often feels like a privilege more than a job. Teaching any student demands intense concentration, lively interaction, endless creativity and extensive patience. However, early on I discovered that for me, teaching is one of the most wonderfully energizing activities that I do. A music teacher of young students or returning adults, is in essence a musical parent charged with nurturing the development of musical habits and providing the skills needed for future success.
I have found that often times the smaller successes, for example when a student finally “gets” a concept that I’ve been trying to explain for some time, or overcomes a technical roadblock that had been frustrating them, those moments are frequently as exciting and rewarding as the larger ones, such as a student’s public performance. I have made it my personal mantra to make lessons a positive, educational experience with a dash of humor for every student I meet. I know I am equipped with the knowledge and experience to do an excellent job teaching students of all levels, ages and aspirations.”
After several years of performing, Doreen’s interests turned to teaching, examining, presenting workshops and adjudicating festivals. Doreen teaches all grades of piano Royal Conservatory of Music, pedagogy, and theory, as well as various genres of music. She encourages students to participate in ensemble work and to compete in festivals. Many of Doreen’s students have been provincial and international winners and three have won national scholarships. She has been a certified Kelly Kirby Kindergarten Piano Teacher since 1967, and continues to teach this method to pre-school children ages three to six.
Doreen received her University of Toronto, Royal Conservatory of Music Teacher Diploma, in 1957. She began her musical career at age five with Ruth Mantz from England, and continued with Rita Staffin in Medicine Hat, Alberta. Ms. Staffin had studied with the noted teacher Lyle Gustin in Saskatchewan. James Lawless was an important influence when Doreen became a Royal Conservatory examiner in 1995. Ms. Laing has attended numerous master classes/workshops at the World Piano Pedagogy conferences in Canada and the USA presented by renowned pedagogues such as Jon Kimura Parker, Marek Jablonski, Marvin Blickenstaff, Seymour Bernstein, and Anton Kuerti.
Doreen travels extensively, presenting master classes, workshops on various topics (including ensemble work) and adjudicating festivals. She has given workshops in Great Falls, Montana, in Pompano Beach, Florida, at Medicine Hat College, for the Lethbridge Registered Music Teachers’ Association, and for the Southern Alberta Piano Teachers’ Association.
Ms. Laing has also been engaged frequently as a festival adjudicator. Venues have included the Great Falls Montana Festival, the Kalispell Montana District Music Festival, the Brandon Manitoba Festival of the Arts, the Sherwood Park Music Festival in Edmonton, the Lethbridge, Alberta Piano Class Festival, the County of Vulcan Alberta Music Competition, the Crowsnest Pass Music Festival, Performing Arts Festivals in Cranbrook and Port Coquitlam, British Columbia, and the Fraser Valley Kiwanis Music Festival, in BC.
Doreen has been an extended executive member of the Alberta Piano Teachers’ Association since its inception. She has served on the ARMTA provincial board for three years, and she was the president of the Medicine Hat and Lethbridge Alberta Registered Music Teachers’ Association. For several years Ms. Laing has been a consultant with the Lethbridge Kiwanis Music Festival and she continues in this position. She has contributed several articles in various music publications in Canada and the United States.
Education and Studies:
ARCT, The Royal Conservatory
KKKT, Kelly Kirby Kindergarten Piano Teacher
Laing Piano Studio, Lethbridge, AB
Mount Royal University, Calgary, AB
Medicine Hat College, Medicine Hat, AB
Laing Piano Studio, Pompano Beach, FL
Royal Conservatory of Music Senior Examiner since 1995
Alberta Registered Music Teachers’ Association (ARMTA)
USA Music Teachers’ National Association (MTNA) since 1986 — Permanent Professional Certification
Canadian Federation of Music Teachers’ Association (CFMTA) since 1955