The secret to ArtSmart mentor Ruth Rainero's continued passion for teaching? Continuing to learn.

Music has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. I was fortunate to attend a small elementary school that devoted the entire afternoon to music, dance, and visual art. I started playing recorder at age 7, piano at age 9, and flute at age 11. My enormous public high school — Berkeley High — had a terrific music and drama program, and produced some amazing musicians during my years there, including Lorraine Hunt Lieberson and Lenny Pickett.

Although I sang in choirs throughout high school and college, I didn’t realize I had a trainable voice until grad school at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague in The Netherlands. I thought I’d return to the US after getting my Masters degree, but ended up living in Amsterdam for 14 years, only returning to San Francisco so that my Dutch husband could pursue a PhD in Biology. We thought we’d return to Amsterdam but, nope, we’re still here and love it.

I must have some genetic mutation called “Born Teacher,” as I’ve always taught one thing or another, and teaching is what keeps my creative juices flowing more than anything else. And, in order to keep growing as a teacher, I also continue to learn. I never get bored! I studied Vocology, i.e. voice science, at NCVS (National Center for Voice and Speech) and Musicianship at the Walden School TTI program (Teacher Training Institute) (Alas, TTI no longer exists, but the Young Musicians Program for teenagers is amazing.) Everything I learn, I apply to my own teaching. 

As public high schools in the US have cut arts programs to the bone or out altogether, individual instruction in an instrument or voice has become available only to families who can afford it. I strongly believe that doing music is enormously beneficial to cognitive growth and one’s general development as a human being. This is why I signed up to teach in the ArtSmart program.

Aside from music, my main passion is running. I’m a member of the Impala Racing Team, a group of kick-ass women from age 22 – 72. We run together, do workouts together, and race together.

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By Ruth Rainero  |  Published on 07/27/2020