Sheila Guymer

Year started at NECOM: 2019

Head of Keyboard

WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT WORKING AT NECOM?

There are many things I love, but perhaps top of the list is being able to work with such a fantastic team of colleagues. The teaching staff support each other in our day-to-day work, sharing tips and teaching techniques, or just meeting up for a chat; plus, we perform beautiful concerts together. And our wonderful admin team do an amazing job behind the scenes to facilitate the wide range of opportunities we’re able to offer our students.

YOUR EARLIEST MUSICAL MEMORY IS                               

I started piano lessons with my Mum when I was four years old, and at five I remember auditioning for a new piano teacher: I must have made good progress with Mum as I played a Grade 1 piece. My experience as a child prompted me to take an interest in teaching piano to young beginners (four to seven years old), as children can learn so much in those early years.

WHAT IS ONE MEMORY THAT STANDS OUT AS A HIGHLIGHT OF YOUR CAREER SO FAR?

Being accepted to study a PhD at Cambridge University was thrilling, but possibly even more stunning was receiving the phone call to tell me I’d been awarded the Freda Bage Fellowship to fund my degree. I was genuinely speechless with excitement to have such an amazing dream come true!

IF YOU COULD ONLY KEEP ONE PIECE OF MUSIC IN YOUR COLLECTION, WHAT WOULD IT BE?

JS Bach’s St Matthew Passion. My Mum took me to a concert performance in the Sydney Town Hall when I was about nine years old. I remember wondering whether it was ever going to finish (the whole work is almost three hours long), but I was riveted by seeing so many people on stage all playing music together. The concert went way past my normal bedtime, but I refused to fall asleep! I’ve listened to arias and choruses from it countless times since (it’s almost an obsession), and seen it in concert four times.