Having been raised in a house where my father was a songwriter and performer, music has always been part of my life. I started formal piano lessons at the age of five and yearly enrolled for eisteddfods and music examinations.
I graduated with two licentiates in piano teaching, one through the University of South Africa and one through the College of Music, London. I always wanted to be a teacher and besides my dolls, I started teaching a neighbor’s daughter at the age of twelve, even enrolling her in a piano competition (for which she won first place)!
After completing a B.A. (Afrikaans, German and Latin) degree at the University of Cape Town, I started my long career of teaching piano and class music privately and at public schools.
While raising my own children, I developed a special interest in the young child, became principal of two preschools and completed a Higher Education Diploma (Preprimary). I also wrote and published three music tutors for young children, all the while teaching class music, recorder and piano.
My life took a different turn when I moved to rural Africa and started living in nature and game reserves. I taught at three different Teacher Colleges of Education, eventually designing and developing courses at University level.
This resulted in me completing a M.Ed. (cum laude) at the University of Fort Hare and a Ph. D (Curriculum Development) at the University of Pretoria. During this time, I kept up teaching piano in the afternoons, including students in the Kruger National Park. On occasion, I had to stop for lions or elephant in the road!
When the opportunity arose to come to America on a Visiting International Faculty Program, I jumped at the chance to first teach music at McClellanville Middle school. For the last ten years I have been teaching piano and class music at Ashley Hall while also building up my private piano studio.
I have since become an American citizen and made Charleston, South Carolina, my home.
I enjoy life, exploring diverse interests such as ballroom dancing, scrapbooking, choral singing, ushering at the theater and writing. Traveling has always been a passion, and for the last number of years, I have planned and accompanied small groups on tours to Southern Africa, Australia, New Zealand and Europe during summer (TravelswithElsa).
Elsa Dixon, Ph.D
M.Ed, H.Ed (Preprimary), B.Ed, B.A., LRSM, UTLM