Alum Corner with Andrea Siradze

Andrea Siradze studied violin performance at the Vancouver Academy of Music. After an accident nearly ended her music dreams, she persevered and pursued music therapy training. She spent five years in Hamburg, Germany, where she worked as a violist and taught classroom music. During this time, she fell in love and was married. She now works as Assistant Principle Second Violin in the Vancouver Opera and leads the Microcosmos Quartet. Andrea cherishes the process of learning at Waldorf, the strong bonds she formed with teachers and classmates, and the memories of camping trips, drawing, and Christmas Fair cleanup.

I studied violin performance at the Vancouver Academy of Music, where I was fortunate to teach in my last two years of study. I saved my paychecks for travel as my tuition was covered by scholarship. I 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 still play. 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 already feeling quite jaded at only 21! I didn’t ever want my deep passion for music to be spoiled. Before commencing this training, I attended 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. Dato and I travelled by car to Georgia over seven times during these years. Each trip was flavoured with passport problems, impossible border crossings, car trouble, and lots of coca-cola to keep our stomachs clear.

Back in BC, 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! 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 fortunate to experience my job as being pleasurable.

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 could form such strong bonds with 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. Camping trips, drawing, Christmas Fair cleanup (I got to ride on the broom when my dad cleaned up), friends and amazing teachers are among my favourite memories.

Compiled 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.

Andrea Siradze
Andrea SiradzeClass of 1988

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.