Who is Doing What?

VWS Alumni Corner Interview with Andrea Siradze, Class 1988

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VWS: Tell me about your work and education after graduating from the VWS.

AS: I studied violin performance at the Vancouver Academy of Music, where I was fortunate to also teach in my last two years of study. I saved my paychecks for travel as my tuition was covered by scholarship, and was happily independent, roaring to study/work on my ever-so-cool motorbike. An accident nearly ended my dreams in music, but I decided to push through. With the settlement awarded me, I purchased my beautiful violin which I play to this day. After completing my violin studies in Vancouver I was primed to go into music therapy training, as the world of music performance had left me feeling already quite jaded, and this at only 21! I didn’t ever want my deep passion for music to be spoiled. Before commencing this training, I decided to attend the foundation year at the Musikseminar Hamburg, an anthroposophically based music university. As determined as I was to be back in my beloved Vancouver, I did stay for five years in Hamburg. Within a month I met and fell madly in love with a Georgian fellow, and three months later we were married. I began to work as a violist throughout Germany and teach classroom music to Grades 1—12 at the International School of Hamburg, Bergedorfer Waldorfschule. During these years Dato and I travelled by car to Georgia over seven times, each trip flavoured with passport problems, impossible border crossings, car trouble and lots of coca cola to keep our stomachs clear.

VWS: What kind of work/study are you involved in now?

AS: I love my work in the Vancouver Opera, where I am assistant principle second violin. An exciting new quartet project is in full swing: Microcosmos Quartet, music of the 20th century. North Shore Sinfonia, freelance work for recordings and my dear students in my studio also keep me happy!

VWS: How did Waldorf education affect your life, and your choice of career?

AS: Firstly, I most appreciate the process of learning at the Waldorf School. I benefit now from having learned my subjects slowly and with repetition. My knowledge is undoubtedly mine. I am also fortunate that I was able to form such strong bonds to the people in my life: teachers, classmates and parents. It has provided a feeling of trust in my surroundings and enables me to operate at full capacity.

VWS: What do you enjoy most about your work?

AS: I love to make music. It’s such a thrill to create in the moment, to live for just that fleeting second, but to have it as a constant companion throughout my day every day. It has an indescribable beauty for me. I feel very lucky to experience my job as being pleasurable.

VWS: What do you think are your greatest successes in life?

AS: Being part of a happy family.

VWS: What are your fondest memories of your time at the VWS?

AS: Camping trips, drawing, Christmas Fair cleanup (I got to ride on the broom when my dad cleaned up), friends and amazing teachers!

Interview by Michelle Gibson, for Development September 2010

Editor’s note: Andrea and Dato Siradze’s youngest daughter entered Grade 1 in 2017 and their eldest daughter graduated from VWS in 2015.

* The Vancouver Waldorf School provides an experiential, age-appropriate approach to education based on the insights of Rudolf Steiner that inspires students to love learning, to be creative, open-minded, and compassionate. With a curriculum that integrates all academics with the arts and social learning, Waldorf Education develops not only the left and right hemispheres of the brain but the whole human being. A child’s social, emotional, physical and intellectual development is considered equally, supporting a conscious unfolding of the individuality within each student. Waldorf graduates possess capacities for empathy and clear, creative and independent thinking that enables them to carry out a chosen course of action with moral courage and social responsibility.