NVMTA is proud to introduce Candace Cleary as our spotlight teacher for November. She is currently serving as a Member-at-large on the Executive Committee.

What do you like most about playing your instrument?

I love the piano for the wealth of repertoire available to us. The more music I play, the more I sense that there is an endless amount of music for me to discover, and always more to learn about the pieces I think I already know. I also love how the piano can function as a solo instrument, stealing the show with thundering sounds and impressive flourishes, or it can humbly enhance another soloist when in the role of a collaborative instrument.


What music do you like to listen to?

I listen to whatever makes me feel good at that moment! It could be Sibelius, Ben Folds, Gershwin, Coeur de Pirate, Schubert, Florence Price, Pink Martini, Glinka or Gorillaz, depending on my mood!


How do you like to spend your time when you aren’t practicing or teaching?

I try to be active! Our profession is a sedentary one, so I like to move as much as possible when I’m not working. I go for walks with my beagle, cycle with my husband, hike with friends. 


What music projects are you working on now?

I’m currently working on El Puerto from Iberia by Albeniz. The whole Iberia suite is a masterpiece, but I chose El Puerto for its lively and joyous spirit.

Please indicate ways you have participated in NVMTA:

Attended NVMTA zoom meetings (general meetings, TAT, or LATTE), 

Participated on an NVMTA committee at any level, 

Certified as NCTM with MTNA


What is one (or more) of your most proud moments in your career?

In the same Royal Conservatory exam session, two of my students received the highest mark in the state for their respective grades. It certainly wasn’t a goal I had in mind as they entered the exams, but I was so happy for those two that their hard work was recognized. 


Do you have advice to NVMTA members?

Earlier in my career, I could have done better at balancing teaching with my own continuing education. I used to schedule my homeschoolers’ lessons during the times the NVMTA teacher’s association met, so I missed out on opportunities to learn from my colleagues. But it’s not a mistake I intend to repeat! Learn more about NVMTA teacher education events.

What has earning NCTM certification meant to you in your career?

Several of the NCTM projects are entirely practical and help us promote ourselves as teachers. For example, one project helped me to clearly articulate my teaching philosophy to potential students. Another project better prepared me for new student interviews. I used to wing it, but now I can print out my list of questions and activities I prepared for the MTNA Certification project, leaving me feeling more confident.