In her third year, she won a scholarship to study at the Brussels Conservatoire, Belgium where she gained further expertise in piano technique and performance skills. In her final degree year, Joanna started teaching for the Junior Birmingham Conservatoire where she mentored and taught talented and gifted children.
After graduating in 2000, Joanna remained in Birmingham where she became Assistant to the Director of Music at Blue Coat Boarding School and subsequently Head of Music at Josiah Mason College, Erdington. Joanna furthered her passion and interest for working with singers and was the Musical Director for many musicals in Birmingham’s leading theatres.
In August 2003, Joanna moved back to the West Country and trained as a Yamaha Keyboard teacher. She ran a Yamaha Keyboard studio at a local secondary school, where she also taught Years 7-13. In the same year, Joanna became an examiner for Edexcel marking A Level final Recital performances.
Whilst still running the Yamaha Music School, September 2004 saw Joanna becoming a lecturer and course leader at City College, Plymouth where she taught performance skills, musical theatre, vocal coaching and music business. Joanna also worked with theatre companies in her capacity as pianist, vocal coach, musical director and band member with performances in local theatres.
September 2006 saw Joanna fulfilling her ambition to open her own music school. Joanna teaches Junior Play for Keeps Keyboard (5-7yr olds), Play for Keeps Keyboard (8yrs+), vocal coaching for teenagers and adults, music theory and flute. The team has grown significantly with more instruments being taught at the music school and a professional reputation is widely known.
2008 saw the launch of Apt Theatre, which was founded by Joanna and her husband, Rob Walling. Apt Theatre encompasses a wide variety of performance arts and includes circus, junkband and musical theatre workshops to children and adults and live musical theatre performance.
Other roles in recent years have included travelling the country presenting Yamaha roadshows to promote keyboard courses to primary schools, Chief Examiner for Performance Arts Awards (Rockschool) for the pilot of their new Musical Theatre examination syllabus and most recently, co-writing a new Vocal course for Yamaha Music Points.
Joanna thoroughly enjoys working within the performance arts medium in a variety of roles; teacher, mentor, performer, workshop leader, examiner and composer and is always reiterating to her students that it is a wonderful career path to follow but it involves hard work, stamina and dedication!