Lisa Raposa ‘99
What are you doing for work and how did you get there?
Currently, I manage my own teaching practice in Mississauga, Ontario, adjudicate for festivals and competitions, and perform both as a soloist and with my husband Gregory (Millar Piano Duo). I also serve as Vice-President of one of the most active branches of the Ontario Registered Music Teachers' Association. As per the norm, this is a volunteer position; however, I have met many new people through the organization and this has on occasion led to new work opportunities. I've taught piano privately in several locations over a span of about 20 years. Prior to moving to Toronto, I instructed students in English and French in the Montreal area.
How did your education in COLA prepare you for life after college?
One of the interesting things about UNH is that there is a whole slew of courses that students are required to take outside of their chosen major. I had friends in the Music Department but I also had a close-knit group of friends in the dorm who studied in different departments. We would get together on weekends and share opinions on any number of topics. To tie this into "life after college," I once took a French course in which nearly every person in the class was from a different country. Surrounding yourself with people who will challenge your worldview and contributing to those conversations is an important part of a person's development. It never stops.
What person or course most influenced you while at UNH?
Arlene Kies (Piano Faculty, Department of Music, 1995-2014). Before I met Arlene, I thought that if you were a performer, you were not a teacher and if you were a teacher, you were not a performer. Arlene showed me that you can do both and make a living at it.
What do you know now that you wish you'd known while at UNH?
It sounds like a note in a fortune cookie but I wish had known the extent to which struggling with and working through your weaknesses can produce unexpectedly positive results.
What advice do you have for students interested in your field?
Study and practice hard while you are in school and attend every concert that you possibly can. The more you invest in yourself at a young age, the more you can give back to others later on. Be open to the idea of starting your own lessons program. Current technology makes it relatively easy for anyone with skills and a bit of know-how to get a small business quickly up and running.