I have been studying classical piano and voice with Maria Todaro since spring 2010. When I became her student, I was 68 and newly retired as a university faculty member and administrator. I hadn't played piano since I was 12 and had never taken voice lessons. No matter that I was a beginner, from the start Maria treated me as a serious musician, even before I saw myself that way. She always pushed me to do my best while also being supportive and encouraging. While taking lessons with her, I also joined a chorus she directed and as a result was able to sing in Pucchini's Madama Butterfly and Verdi's Otello as well as in performances for the community. At the piano, I am playing works by Bach, Beethoven, and Chopin. After a lifetime in higher education, my passion now is music and I owe that to Maria. I should add that Maria is herself a very accomplished and talented opera singer and pianist. I believe her success as a teacher comes directly from her own deep understanding and love of music.