Davina Perret lives in Littleton, CO with her husband and two teenage children. She runs a music studio of 50+ out of her home, including toddler and preschool music classes. She was the Vice President of Programs for Foothills Music Teacher Association 2019-2021, and is President-Elect for FMTA in 2021. In her spare time she advocates for her special needs son, writes on her blog, runs miles and miles, mentors young moms through MOPS, and trains a chocolate lab puppy to be a Service Dog for her son. She can be found at davinaperret.com, Davina Perret Music Studio on Facebook, and @davinaperret on Instagram.
Davina’s story about her musical training and adventures is fascinating. Dedicated private and classroom teachers nurtured her delight in music making, leading to her current dedication developing students and helping them explore their own joyful musical adventure. Here is her story:
Besides singing in the cutest church cherub children’s choir (say that 5 times fast) when I was little, my music journey did not begin until I was 9. By then, there was a definite hunger in me to learn piano and every other instrument I could lay my hands on. By junior high, I was converting my family into our own little Van Trapp family band, accompanying church choirs, and playing multiple instruments...all the while trying to balance a life of competitive sports and academics. I’m sure I gave several piano teachers along the way some panic attacks when I would roll in from a soccer or softball game, clean up in the bathrooms, don a dress, and make my recital performance…mostly on time!
When my family moved to Littleton, CO in 1990, I began studying piano with Arlyce Black. In actuality, Arlyce became our family resident piano teacher. She taught me, my mom, my brother and even my daughter. Arlyce was the kind of piano teacher who drove me to Master Classes, spent extra hours helping me record audition tapes, and let me play anything from Classics to Pop music.
My music career started in junior high and high school because of music teachers who believed in me, invested their time, and gave me opportunities to perform, participate and lead. Arlyce became a mentor for me by finding me paying wedding and party gigs, allowing me to teach some of her students in the summer months, letting me sit in on and observe lessons when I was starting my own piano studio, and recruiting me to help her with summer music camps. Karen Greenhalgh, also a local Littleton piano teacher, and fellow church member, gave me opportunities to accompany church services when she needed a substitute. This led to many years of church worship-leading. Barry Roberts, choir director at Chatfield Senior High for 25+ years, gave me every opportunity to accompany, perform solos, and even feature some of my own choral arrangements.
Ironically enough, I set out to study Music Therapy at Colorado State University because I did NOT want to be a piano teacher! It is funny how the journey of life works out and how now I find myself in my 20th year of teaching piano! Through studies in Music Therapy at CSU and an internship in Albany, NY, I gained an understanding and knowledge of teaching special needs individuals, which has allowed me to better differentiate in my teaching, play to the strengths of my students, and keep my eyes wide open for struggles and particular learning challenges. I studied piano performance with Dr. Janet Landreth during my four years at CSU. She took my technique and passion in piano performance to the next level. She, along with the choral directors at CSU, gave me every opportunity to perform, accompany, experience playing with orchestras and even black box theater groups. One of my most thrilling experiences in college was performing the Grieg Piano Concerto with the CSU Symphony.
After completing my internship in Music Therapy in Albany, NY, I headed to St. Louis to attend Covenant Seminary. My studies included teaching the Bible, discipleship, and worship. I also met my husband, Kyle, at seminary and we married in 2003.
After spending several years in pastoral and music ministry with my husband (taking us from St. Louis to Georgia to Oregon to Louisiana), we decided to make Littleton, CO our permanent Home. We both have settled into full time teaching. Kyle teaches Social Studies at the STEM School. I spent three years teaching general music at Denver Christian School before opening my home music studio in 2017. Perhaps it is ADHD, or perhaps it is a need for variety in creativity, but either way, what I have come to love is teaching different instruments. I teach piano, guitar, and ukulele, as well as groups lessons.
I became certified in Harmony Road Music Curriculum, a group curriculum out of Portland, OR. Harmony Road music trains the ear, the body and then the fingers. Their toddler and preschool curriculum is out of this world!!! There is a power in group lessons that I have seen through the years. From toddlers to junior high students, I find these age groups thrive in community. They often overcome anxiety and stage-fright by playing solos for each other week to week. As they listen to others struggle to learn a piece, they are encouraged that they are not the only one struggling! On the flip side, their faces beam when their fellow class member cheer on their successes. In group lessons students gain an invaluable, deep-rooted sense of ear training, rhythm, and ensemble awareness that can be missed in individual lessons. Group participation allows us to play lots of theory games, have rhythm ensembles and bring laughter to every lesson. While I still have individual lessons going on with many of my students, my heart and energy are devoted to group activities.