I am indebted to my parents that they valued music as much as they did.
Born into a musical family, it was part of our education, my brother and two sisters and I, to master an instrument. Originally my parents had two cars, but in order to make way for the four of us to have music lessons, they got rid of both of them. I am greatly thankful for that now.
I was and still am a dreamer. When I was four years old I could sit for hours working the old-fashioned reel-to-reel, listening to classical music such as the Saint Matthew Passion, and the occasional folk tunes, always dreaming away.
My parents and my schoolteacher thought the lyre would be the right instrument for me, but later when we moved house I had to give it up because there were no lyre teachers in Eindhoven our new city. It was at this point I took up the harp.
Although I was always praised for my musicality, when things started to get technically more challenging my harp practise became practically non-existent, and to express my feelings I turned to piano improvisation. In my late teens and early twenties, I hardly touched the harp.
I moved from Holland to Northern Ireland to work as a kindergarten teacher. It was there that I felt encouraged to start playing again; the Irish tunes, the melodies of Turlough O'Carolan (the Irish blind harpist and composer) and the passion people felt for their music, inspired me. I moved from Northern Ireland to Devon, bringing the Irish tunes with me and once I'd given up my teaching job, the harp became my full-time occupation.
For years I thought my son Caolan the harp. Now he is currently studying at the Guildhall School of Music in London. He won several music competitions and became second in the 2013 Young Musician of the Year Competition in Beckenham (London). I am a proud dad.