One Student's Story
 
At the age of seven I started taking Suzuki violin lessons. I practiced half an hour every day, went to lessons once a week, group recitals once a month, and occasionally played in a group concert. I liked the violin, but like it is for most kids, practicing was always a chore. If my parents hadn’t been there to make me practice I probably would have put down my violin and never have picked it up again.  
 
I met Moira when I was 11 years old at an Irish music session at Eddie’s Attic. Moira was leading the session that night, playing fiddle and accordion, singing, and dancing. She made sure that everyone in the room got involved and had a great time. I immediately fell in love with the music that she played and the energy that she brought to it.  In addition to being extremely talented, Moira was fun and charismatic.  Just a few days after that first meeting, I took my first lesson with Moira, and I continued taking lessons with Moira throughout middle school and high school.  
 
When I started playing fiddle with Moira, playing music stopped being a chore and became something that I absolutely loved.  She introduced me to so many types of music, from Irish to Old Time, to Cajun.  My friend sang in addition to playing the violin and Moira taught me to play back up on the guitar. Soon we started performing together and were shocked to discover that people actually wanted to hear us!  When I played classical violin, practicing was something that I did at home in my living room, but with Moira’s influence it quickly became something that I did anywhere and everywhere.  I played on street corners, at festivals, at the beach, at the Laundromat, at parties, at weddings, and late at night in my friends’ kitchens.    
 
Moira took the music out of the classroom and brought it to life.  Her passion is not only for playing music, but also for sharing it.  Her enthusiasm and love of it is contagious.  She is exceptionally patient, positive, and encouraging.  My time with Moira allowed me to grow both musically and personally. I have met so many special people and had so many invaluable experiences thanks to the music I play and the opportunities that Moira exposed me to. Moira has proven to be the most important influence in my musical development, and also an invaluable mentor and friend. 
 
Ansley, college student