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Introducing our Music Teachers 2022: Ms Hebley

Alexandria Lazatin (Year 12)

Introducing Katherine Hebley, Sancta Maria College’s amazing cello Teacher and Mentor for our classical musicians. She especially loves to make music and play with various people, and of course, she is a professional member of the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra. It is no surprise that cello is her passion!

Sparked by spare time while her children were at school, Ms Hebley decided to become a Cello Teacher during school hours. It was perfect timing as Sancta Maria College needed a cellist. Since Ms Hebley joined the SMC community, she has really enjoyed teaching our budding Cellists and the musical encouragement our students receive.

Ms Hebley is exceptional. She lives a busy life as a music Teacher and as a cellist that actively plays a wide variety of pieces and genres for a wide range of audiences; from baby concerts to playing for films and pop groups, to ballets and operas.

She likes to connect with staff and students as much as she can. However, she works more intensely with the students either one on one or in small groups. “I think that’s quite special in a school environment to have that.” In her experience, this lesson system successfully pushes her students to improve their skills and enables suitable learning methods. Ms Hebley not only finds happiness when she’s able to share “that lightbulb moment” when teaching – the confidence built and the achievement itself – but also when she can play musical pieces with her cellists, “I just think it’s a very nice thing for a human being to do.”

Driven, Ms Hebley aims to “get past Covid and beat Covid” all while learning and maintaining everyone’s path to their own musical success – whether that be the next grade or personal improvements. In addition to this, she would love to play more chamber music with her husband “which we were doing a little bit more of, in lockdowns – playing for the neighbours mainly.”

The cello is an instrument that we encourage students to pick up! Ms Hebley explains “It’s certainly something for your heart and soul to feel better at.” While other instruments can similarly provide comfort, the cello’s large size, middle range octaves and rich resonance makes it significantly unique. “The thrill of being able to play a string instrument is pure excitement and zen in itself”, Ms Hebley highlights.

With a lot going on, Ms Hebley encourages students to join Sancta Maria College’s music department. “Mr Gibbs is doing a great job at providing everyone with opportunities to play, in whatever instrument they choose. He cares so much. Additionally, the ability to teach individually or in groups is quite special in a school environment. It is such a good opportunity to play music with each other of different ages and be apart of a lovely community.”

Music can offer so much and so, in the infinite words of Ms Hebley: “Just get out there, grab an instrument and play! It doesn’t matter how old you are. It doesn’t matter if you want to do it professionally or basically, simply enjoy it and have fun! You learn so much more.”