Clara Constance Stickney is a musician and teacher based in Portland, ME. Dedicated and passionate about helping people learn, she offers both traditional and adaptive music lessons to people ages five and above on the piano, fiddle, and occasionally the folk harp. Clara performs throughout New England and beyond with multi-instrumentalist Jamie Oshima in their band “Joy Compass.”
Beginning her formal music studies at the age of 6, Clara was accepted and performed with the Portland Youth Symphony Orchestra, Maine All-state Orchestra, Maine All-state Choir, and received first place in the Maine chapter of the National Association of Teachers of Singing Vocal Competition. She began playing the violin, piano, and SATB vocal music for private events while still in high school.
Clara studied classical piano, violin, harp, and music pedagogy while minoring in music at the University of Southern Maine where she graduated in 2015. She has had the opportunity to learn from PSO harpist Jara Goodrich, Fiddleicious founder Don Roy, BSO cellist William Rounds, contra dance fiddler Becky Tracy, and world-renowned folk harpist Maeve Gilchrist. Clara appears on Don Roy’s latest CD “Franco American Fiddler.”
Accepted into the competitive Graduate Degree program in Occupational Therapy at the University of Southern Maine, Clara earned her Masters Degree in 2016. During her coursework Clara had the academic freedom to study and explore the relationship of music and music learning to the human body and brain as well as many other topics that continue to greatly inform and enrich her teaching of music. Some of these include; motor skill acquisition, innate sensory preferences, learning styles, ergonomics, client-centeredness, human development through the lifespan, activity analysis, adaptation and compensation techniques, cultural competence, and therapeutic use of self. Clara is a National Board Certified and Maine State Licensed Occupational Therapist.