I’m Renée Blanchette Rutledge. I had my first lesson and started to play the piano at the age of 7. It wasn’t until my teen years that I began to take my piano studies more seriously. It was when I graduated at a Grade 8 level with the Royal Conservatory of Music (RCM) that I began teaching private music lessons.
As a teacher I feel it is so important that one continues to better oneself through professional development wherever possible. As time permits I am pursuing a degree at the University of Windsor as a piano major, specializing in jazz piano. I have also been music leader/director at local churches since my mid teens, currently at New Life Assembly in Belle River. In addition to the piano I also sing and play the flute. I have traveled abroad with the Jubilance Singers and Orchestra playing flute and also with a local group called The Silver Ambassadors.
Note: Renée teaches Beginner to Advanced Piano, Theory, and History
(The following is Miss Renée’s testimony of her dream come true on January 14, 2020 when she was informed that she had passed her final ARCT exams.)
I have been working towards getting my ARCT diploma in Piano Performance with the Royal Conservatory for quite some time (as long as I’ve known my husband Nathan). It is one of the highest academic standings awarded by the RCM.
I was told by more than one teacher, who’s opinion I respected, that I should consider letting this dream go. I remember the first time crying and crying because I felt like I had to give up on this dream that I’d had since I was a little girl. I didn’t though and I kept going after it, it didn’t matter to me how long it took.
3 years ago I passed my playing exam after countless hours of practicing. This summer I passed 1 of 3 theory exams, and then right before Christmas I wrote the other two. Today I found out I passed them both and now officially have completed my ARCT.
I’m all for listening to guidance and wisdom from those who have been placed in your life. If you feel though like God has given you a dream and a goal to pursue, no one can take that away from you. God can do things in your life beyond what you or others around you may think is possible.
Music for Young Children (MYC) gives me the opportunity to apply my former experience in early childhood education in combination with my years of private music lessons. I have been teaching MYC since 2010. In talking with other MYC teachers and also receiving students into private lessons who had graduated from this program my interest grew. The children had a great basis in all areas: theory, history, note recognition, rhythm, keyboard playing and most of all music enjoyment. The longer I teach the program the more I love it. In group classes I find the children are motivated by each other, and having Mom or Dad there participating helps to reinforce the concepts learned in class. MYC allows children to move, explore, and enjoy their lessons as they develop their musical skills.
MYC has become an important component in my teaching repertoire.