Darlene Ann Schmidt began playing piano by ear at the age of 6. She was then given formal lessons and quickly progressed through the Royal Conservatory grades. She received her ARCT in performance from the Royal Conservatory, and went on to complete her Bachelor of Music degree through McGill University, where she studied performance, and the University of Ottawa, where she studied composition. She then won a full scholarship to complete her Master’s degree in Composition at the University of York, England. She has since gained over ten years’ teaching experience. In addition, she is a published author and writer of poetry, fiction and non-fiction. In addition to music and writing, her passions are gardening, reading, natural healing, and helping animals and nature in all its forms. She currently lives with her husband, Bertrand Lee, in Maple Ridge, B.C and is step-mom to his two (now grown) children. Her animal family is always changing. Currently she is a mom to two rescued cats, plus four doves and pigeons who live in the wild.