Verity is a visionary dedicated to the development of young children. Verity discovered that she had an innate gift for relating to young children, and together with her musical training, her talent as a visual artist, and her caring nurturing character, she created her method combining everything she knew. The students I have seen coming from her program behave in a beautiful manner, abounding with joy and freedom to express themselves through music and art. Their concentration intensity is also boundless, and this I know is from the training they receive from Verity. I highly recommend Fiddlesticks for young children, as an early sounding point for becoming wonderful human beings.
- Amanda Forsyth; International Cello Soloist, Cellist of the Zukerman Trio, Former Principal Cellist of the Nation Arts centre Orchestra, Former principal cellist of The Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra (New York, NY)
Her dedication to the development of very young children by employing the creative arts in a learning environment is a model to be replicated throughout Canada
- Clair M. Speed; Director of Music Education, National Arts Centre (Ottawa, ON)
You seem to have found a wonderful balance in fostering instrument learning as an extension of the “primary instrument (as we call our bodies in Music Together).
- Jennifer Hobson Roy; Director of Music Together (Victoria B.C.)
"I have heard so many great things about you and your program from Pinchas Zukerman and Amanda Forsyth."
- Heather Mansell, Yamaha Music Canada
Jeff P. (Victoria B.C)
I worked with Verity for many years accompanying her students on piano and it was a delight to see them progress and learn music from a fantastic teacher. Verity is committed to excellence and makes cello fun for everyone!
Fiona E. (Victoria B.C.)
Verity has a wonderful and exceptional way with young children. Whether through her Fiddlesticks classes, cello lessons or workshops, her teachings are invaluable. It is not only what she teaches the children but the way in which she is able to engage and inspire them from such an early age that is truly remarkable. Her kind and calm manner, patience and understanding allow children (and their parents) to always feel safe and comfortable, valued and respected.
Anne K. (Victoria B.C.)
As a retired educator with 35+ years experience, there is no doubt in my mind that Fiddlesticks is one of the most outstanding programs for very young children in Victoria."
Susan H. (Victoria B.C.)
Verity started working with our oldest 2 children (through her integrated arts program) when they were two and three years old. That progressed to cello and fiddle lessons, more arts classes, a few adorable toddler recitals and the inclusion of our youngest as soon as she turned two. They all miss her fiercely. I have experienced many different children's programs in a few different cities and never have I encountered one as wonderful as Verity's. The art projects she did with our kids adorn every room of our house, and her tactile, low-tech approach to learning - to art and dance and music - is the most natural fit for young kids. If I could provide a sense of the environment at Verity's, I'd say it is Beatrix Potter, not Paw Patrol. It is Alice in Wonderland and the Wind in the Willows and The Sound of Music. It has a dusting of old time magic - pure and calm and whimsical. It is a world of books and paint and sewing. Of music on real instruments that the children can touch and be shown how to play. Needless to say, I was incredibly sad that she left Victoria, and simultaneously jealous of all the people who now get to have her in their lives. I wish her the very best and sincerely hope that the winds of change blow her back to the west coast sometime soon.
Kathleen R. (Victoria B.C.)
Our whole family (parents, grandparents and the children themselves) are very sad to lose Verity as a most wonderful music teacher for young children. We speak from collective personal experience with over 12 different music teachers.
Joshua M. (Victoria B.C.)
My two children studied with Verity from a very early age - first in the Fiddlesticks program, and then later through Cello Studio. It was transformative for all of us.
I can honestly say that my daughters wouldn't be the confident, expressive, artistic, respectful, friendly, and self-aware humans that they are today, without the relationship that we've had with Fiddlesticks and Verity. Her approach and ability to nurturing and supporting the inherent talents of the very young is not just rare - I have never seen it anywhere else. The phrase "World-Class" comes immediately to mind.
Both of my daughters continue to study cello, now at the Victoria Conservatory of Music. Verity's instruction has positioned them to take music performance to any level, and for that I am deeply grateful. But whether or not they decide to continue with music, dance, or the visual arts in any sort of professional capacity, her support for their intrinsic creative drive has given them a way of relating to their place in the world that is priceless. As a parent, I can think of no bigger gift, and I am honored beyond measure to have been a Fiddlesticks parent.
Jenn M. (B.C.)
Verity has a special gift with children and the arts. She gives them the tools and space to glow with creativity. When teaching cello my daughter was inspired and confident. The world is a beautiful place when people like Verity share their gifts
Monique D. (Victoria, B.C.)
I honestly can not say enough GOOD things about Verity...I will always remember 'Verity' as THE single BEST thing I did for my daughter!
Lisa M. (Victoria B.C.)
Our daughter attended Fiddlesticks from ages 3 - 6. Daughter has always possessed a passion for art, and Verity's amazing imagination helped her expand this passion through the exploration of various mediums and subjects of art. I will always be grateful for Verity's influence, as she sparked our daughter's interest and love of music and musical instruments. The Fiddlesticks environment was such a magical and imaginative environment for children. Huge loss for Victoria, amazing new opportunity for Ottawa.
Sara W. (Victoria B.C)
When I first met Verity, I was immediately struck by the beauty and calm that she created around herself, and eventually the calm that surrounded the children in her care who I eventually saw coming and going. She holds very firm and clear boundaries and has an incredible ability to engage children's attention in a way that respects the integrity of the child and is lovely and playful.
I will very much treasure those 5 years when I got to see Verity on an almost weekly basis, bringing my son for art lessons, and then for cello and also my daughter for music and art lessons. Verity has been a beacon of calm, wisdom and understanding (and an inspiration for my parenting) as my children have grown from toddlers to school age children. She has a keen insight into the inner world and motivation of the child. I have seen very small children who refused to leave their parents take their first steps to independence with Verity. I have seen children who refused to perform grow into confident musicians.
Verity has an unwavering commitment to quality in everything she does. This takes the form of a beautiful environment and materials, always professional and clear communication and the ability to draw out beauty in her art and in music with children. Needless to say, I highly recommend Fiddlesticks to any parent interested in beautiful high quality programs in art and music. Ottawa, you're lucky to have this new opportunity!!!
Rachel M. (Victoria B.C.)
I highly recommend Verity and her Fiddlesticks programs to any parent looking for an inspired approach to music and the arts for their child. Both of our boys - with very different personalities - have each developed their own sense of themselves in their relationship to music thanks to her sensitive and individualized teaching style. She goes above and beyond. Thank you Verity!
Amanda P. (Victoria B.C.)
We feel so fortunate that our daughter had the opportunity to take classes at Fiddlesticks. She looked forward to it every time. Verity is amazing. She genuinely appreciated my daughter's oddball uniqueness and worked tirelessly to make each class fun and magical.
Steph K. (Victoria B.C.)
My children have thrived in Verity's music school - it is such a special place! I would recommend Fiddlesticks to anyone interested in sowing musical seeds in their young children. They will develop their singing and instrumental ability, and learn to connect music and art in a meaningful way.
Carolyn W. (Victoria (B.C.)
Verity taught our daughter cello for five years. Verity instilled a love of music in our daughter. B struggled with learning to read music but Verity showed an amazing patience and persistence that kept her engaged and succeeding. We are deeply grateful to Verity for the care that she took in teaching our daughter.
LC (Victoria B.C.)
Verity is a genius at teaching these little ones to become intuitive musicians and artists and to truly love their connection with their instruments, music, and art. She creates such a warm, supportive and creative space for the children to express themselves. I feel unbelievably fortunate to have had her in our lives, her influence on our 6 year old, from age 3, has been profound and wonderful.
Tanya B. (Victoria B.C.)
My 2 children were lucky enough to be exposed to music and art through Verity's amazing programs. Verity is a talented cellist, artist, and educator who has an amazing way of connecting with every child (and really every person) who comes into Fiddlesticks. In the magical environment that Verity creates, my children thrived and created the most amazing things. I am so grateful for the impact Verity has had (and continues to have through the inspiration she provided) on our lives.
Heather S. (Victoria B.C.)
Verity has made a lasting positive impact on our entire family. Her amazing skill and nurturing wholesome teaching style have been a wonderful start to my daughter's artistic and musical endeavors. She is an extraordinary teacher with a gift for fostering a deep sensebility and love for music and art.
As a teacher of young children myself I can often be very critical of early childhood programs, and from the first moment I entered into the Fiddlesticks classroom, I knew I had discovered a rare jewel.
Verity's approach to education has given my daughter a foundation of learning that will last her a lifetime. Her ability to guide the children with hands on experiential learning has given my 2 1/2 year old daughter the ability and opportunity to develop coordination, concentration, independence and self-regulation, all within an environment that nurtures respect, love and kindness. Verity has brought out the best in my daughter and I highly recommend her program for anyone interested in offering their children the highest of quality wholistic education.
Tressa B. (Victoria B.C.)
My three children have learned and grown with Verity - in her Fiddlesticks program and private cello lessons. For 7 years, Verity was part of our weekly routine. She offered one of the few programs where each of my children felt safe, seen and loved, and I felt inspired in my parenting. Verity beautifully designs her programs with the children's inner rhythms and unique spirits, at heart.
Julia Y. (Victoria B.C.)
Verity is an amazing teacher, her creativity and ability to engage with children is the key to her success. As Verity’s assistant for many years, I saw first hand how her approach combined with the enchanted environment she creates, fosters love of music and art in the hearts of children. Verity taught my daughter for 12 years and I can't say enough about how wonderful her influence has been on her. My daughter is confident in her creativity and is always inspired to explore art in new ways thanks to Verity's gift for teaching.
Angie T. (Victoria B.C.)
Verity taught my daughter cello this past school year. My daughter has only just turned 6, and Verity made learning the cello an interesting and joyful experience. She has a natural ease with children, is always calm, and is truly passionate about her work. She has a beautiful way of acknowledging and celebrating each child's strengths and aptitudes. She is able to tailor lessons in a way that appeals to a wide audience with varying skill level. We feel profoundly grateful for her presence in our lives and truly saddened we will not see her every week!
Laurel R. (Victoria B.C.)
Verity has been teaching cello to my daughter for over seven years! The creative space and inspiration that she has been able to foster have been remarkable. She adapted her teaching style to meet my daughters learning needs and enabled her confidence to continue to grow through some challenging times.
Kathleen M. (Victoria B.C.)
My daughter has been going to Fiddlesticks once a week for the past year and adores Verity. Her art and singing skills have blossomed and she always comes away with gorgeous artwork that we put up all over the house.
Yra S. (Victoria B.C.)
I think Verity is the perfect cello teacher. She is calm yet naturally firm and my daughter was very attached to her as a music teacher. It was something about the animals, the studio space, and of course Verity's personality that made Cello lessons with Verity a golden experience. Verity combines Suzuki, RCM, fiddle/folk music, basic theory and some singing to create a well rounded program that eventually moves toward the strength and interest of the child. We also experienced a Fiddlesticks preschool program many moons ago and that was a fabulous experience. The music and art approach is very organic for the little ones and the collection of materials Verity uses is one of a kind. I love the way she uses her Kodaly knowledge with the preschoolers.
Rob J. (Victoria B.C.)
We had a wonderful experience with Verity. She provided the care and instruction our son needed over six years. She is caring, organized and super amazing at leading students in their exam and recital prep. Her studio was welcoming and felt like a second home to us. She will be greatly missed in Victoria.
Teresa W. (Victoria B.C.)
Verity has been our daughter's cello teacher since she was 4 years old. She was amazing at giving her just the right amount of challenge for her age and stage of musical development. We enjoyed watching our daughter grow into a confident musician who truly loves to practice. Thank you Verity!
Syd B. (Victoria B.C.)
I must say that I have been very impressed with Verity's ability to combine a serious musical approach with many fun things that help to keep her students engaged in their very challenging endeavour. Her patience and good humour go together with her fine musicianship to create a wonderful learning atmosphere for young players. With the skills and appreciation of music that Verity provides, her students are very well equipped to continue developing as musicians and as individuals.
Lindsay R. (Victoria B.C.)
Verity, as both a music and cello teacher, has epitomized professionalism throughout her connection with my son: gently encouraging him at his level, and expecting him to expect the most from himself.
She was generous with her time and expertise in helping him prepare for both the Victoria Greater Performing Arts Festival and Royal Conservatory of Music examinations.
And, she was patient with me, a non-musical Mom, in explaining protocols; and ultimate family decisions around musical goals and home practice.
Lara M. Victoria (B.C.)
Fiddlesticks is a place where our children have a unique opportunity to express and challenge themselves in so many ways: musically, artistically, physically, mentally, and socially. From the experience of having had two children enrolled in Verity's program, I have seen first-hand what a difference it makes. Art, Music and exploration, for example, have become entegral part of my daughters’ lives. They sing, they dance, they create. They recite poetry, remember rhymes and play musical games. They work with their hands, they appreciate nature and they look at things for different perspectives.
PARENTS OVER THE YEARS HAVE SAID....
"The genuine care you give those children is indescribable. You nurture my child and take such joy in her growth."
"Thank you so much for all your effort and support for our son. He received the Honours Performance award at the Performing Arts Festival."
"Our son could not perform like drawing a beautiful picture without you, Verity. This has been an absolutely wonderful opportunity for him . . . building his love of music and confidence towards a lot of other things in his life."
"When I bring my children to Fiddlesticks, I see their own energy and creativity harnessed and honed into skill.”
“The satisfaction on her face when she showed the painting to me was astounding, and the confidence that it brought her was priceless."
"Thank-you Verity—for once again playing such a lovely, artistic, inspiring, musical, creative and beasty role in our little girl's life—we all appreciate you!"
“I am so happy that it was such a positive experience and a chance to awaken that creativity I sometimes feel gets stifled as our kids get older.”
"Watching my two daughters learn from, you, Verity, has been a delight, an inspiration, and a comfort."
"I just wanted to send you a quick note to say how much my daughter enjoyed The Fantastic Beast last week. She was so proud to come home and show everyone what she had made and to tell us what she and everyone else did all week.”
“Dear Verity, Thank you for sharing your love of music and of cello with my girls. Their music time with you is filled with laughter, complicity and delight. I appreciate very much the thoughtfulness that goes into your teaching."
"What I saw was an environment where each child was inspired by you to participate in the activities, but also where each child was given the freedom to shift into something different according to their needs. Mutual trust and respect seem to be the foundation for all that was happening."
"We had not intended to find an integrated arts studio to replace the more traditional preschool our child was attending. We knew that the teacher and activities at Fiddlesticks were nurturing within minutes of observing a class."
"It is exceptional in the breadth of material Verity covers and in the quality of instruction, the presentation and how hands-on the children learn with her. Beyond the arts-based learning, Verity models and assists the children with
a very high level of consideration, respect and friendship."
“Thanks for teaching my daughter all that you have. We think you are wonderful!”
“You really do an amazing job and we are so grateful that we found you!”
“My son has been going to Fiddlesticks since he was almost three. He is now five and we believe that Fiddlesticks has played a critical role in his development as a person.”
“I often describe walking into Fiddlesticks as walking into a fairytale—where the kids are inspired to dream, discover, imagine possibilities and become exactly who they are. The sparkle in my son’s eyes at pick-up time says it all!"
"I can’t wait until my second son starts and am excited to hear what songs, stories and ideas he will bring home.”
“My daughter absolutely loves coming to your class. I can’t believe how lucky we feel to have the world’s greatest role model as her Fiddlesticks teacher!”
“Life is so ephemeral - a moment here then gone. It is essential to live each moment richly and you do this. I feel it and the children feel it. The energy of it is visible in the soul-full music and in the children’s creations.”
“Verity, you are a gifted teacher and we are so lucky to have you teach our children. You have brought so much beauty, music and life to to our whole family.”
“Verity, I appreciate all that you share from the heart with the children—and all your hard work for them.”
“Thank you for all the love and creative energy you put into your classes.”
“We have so appreciated all your endless patience, creativity, calmness and the great sense of beauty that you have bestowed on all three of our children. It has been a true privilege having the opportunity for our children to learn and grow with you.”
“Thank you so much for being such an amazing, nurturing, creative and inspiring teacher to our son. We appreciate you and all the truly lovely things you do with and for the children every day.”
“We love all that you do and all that you share with the children.”
“Thanks for your gentle magic and music.”
“Thanks for having my daughter on Friday. She absolutely loved the workshop and said that all she wants to do is go to Fiddlesticks now!”
“Thank you for all that you give of yourself, Verity, of that beautiful music—that is you. I wish you could know how very blessed we feel to have you in our lives. We love you!” “
"Dear Verity, thank you for all the creativity, inspiration and intentionality you provided for our son in his first school experience."
“Dearest Verity, I feel that you have been a gift. I am so happy for all that our daughter has experienced with you.”
“Verity, what an impact you have made! You have brought out our son’s joyous side—the singer and dancer. I’m glad he’ll have another year to spend with you to cement his love of fine music and learning.”
“Thank you for bringing such joy and happiness into our daughter’s life. We love hearing her sing when she wakes up and are so happy to watch her run into class.”
“Lovely Verity, thank you for inspiring our entire family!”
“Dear Verity, thanks for a great year of music. You have been a great teacher for our son—patient, firm and important.”
“Verity, because of you, our son loves music and singing and dancing. We hope it lasts a lifetime!”
“Verity . . . you make our hearts sing.”
“Verity, thank you for being such an important and special part of our lives.”
“My daughter has loved being part of Fiddlesticks—she is always so happy and excited to share with us what she has done, whether that be a sewing project, art, songs, circle games, playing the cello, dressing up for an adventure, discovering something in science and nature and more. Thank you, Verity!”
“Verity, we love you so much. Thank you for all that you do—you are amazing.”
“Thank you for your nurturing, lovely creativity and endless inspiration that you give to our boys.”
“Thank you so much for your creativity and your talent. Our girls have flowered in so many ways. Your incorporating music and art at such an early age for the kids has given us so many ideas for the future. You will me missed.”
“Thank you for all of the beautiful music."
“Verity, you are such a gift for all of these children!”
“We are so delighted to have Fiddlesticks and cello in our lives. Thank you!"
“Thank you for bringing music to our home and to our girls.”
“Thanks for all your hard work and patience!”
“Thanks for all of everything. We love you!”
"You are so amazing. Keep Teaching!"
“Verity, I am so grateful for you and all your love and kindness and hard work. You are such a gift for our daughter.”
CHILDREN SAY . . .
“I love you.” (age 3)
“When I think of Verity, I think of flowers.” (age 4)
“Thanks for being my teacher.” (age 5)
"I love you and thanks for cello lessons and Fiddlesticks." (age 4)
"I am happy because you helped me prepare for the concert” (age 6)
"You are the best teacher in the Galaxy!!! I love cello." (age 5)
"It's nice to be at Fiddlesticks. I love Fiddlesticks." (age 5)
"I like all the things Verity does and I like how she teaches me to draw.” (age 4)
“Dear Verity, you are so amazing, you are supportive, beautiful, generous and great! You have believed I could do things when I was very worried about them. I love having you for my teacher because you are my friend as well.” (age 10)