Welcome to Foley Music and Arts / by Chris Foley


My blogging journey began in the fall of 2005 on a week when I had almost no work. Three years after my wife and I moved from Vancouver to Toronto, I had a fair amount of performing work and a few classes to teach, but the gaps between performing engagements were becoming too frequent and the financial strain was showing, particularly in the fall before the high season of performing engagements got underway.

In order to make the best of a difficult situation, I decided to start the Collaborative Piano Blog as a way of reaching out to the profession when there were almost no online resources on the subject. At the same time, I developed a major interest in teaching piano and learning the art of piano pedagogy. It was the kind of interest that takes over your life and directs all your attention, regardless of consequences.

My graduate degrees were in Piano Accompanying and Chamber Music from the Eastman School of Music, so my 8 years in Vancouver were spent largely as a performing pianist and vocal coach specializing in new music. I had taught piano from time to time in Vancouver, but it was only a very small part of my musical activities. So three years after making the move to the Toronto scene, I added a few private piano students to my schedule and tried to juggle the challenges of being both a private teacher of piano and an active performer.

What I didn't expect was that writing the Collaborative Piano Blog would become such a long-term activity, nor that its content would enable so many people to connect with the collaborative piano field at the beginning of their careers. Nor did I realize that at the same time my career was slowly going in a different direction than collaborative piano.

After being invited to serve as a member of The Royal Conservatory's College of Examiners in 2009, my yearly schedule changed and I was no longer able to take on as many performing engagements as I once could. The life of an examiner is fascinating! Delving into the deep points of pedagogy and curriculum development quickly developed into a passion, as did traveling across North America to hear 600+ examinations a year. My studio got bigger and bigger, and within a few short years I found myself with a completely full teaching schedule.

Writing for the Collaborative Piano Blog was still a part of my activities, but to a much lesser extent. We all change over time, and my own interests appeared to have outgrown my initial desire to write a blog about the art of piano in ensemble.

So this blog (named after the company that Wendy and I founded in 2013) is the next step for me, and will allow me to write about a much wider variety of subjects. I want to look into productivity, technology and its applications in teaching, leadership, and how we can learn to focus better in a growing age of technology. And I like to collect fountain pens.