Lorna Collingridge, PhD

Lorna is a beloved local piano teacher and one of our first regular customers. She and her spouse, Carol, share a beautiful home in Durham, NC.


We met each other in a coffee shop where you overheard me talking about Lake Jane and shared that you have an elastane allergy and that you'd had a hard time finding 100% cotton camisoles. How has finding these pieces changed how you get dressed?

I am not usually so bold as to approach strangers in coffee shops but you can tell how desperate I was for something all cotton that I wanted to wear! I tried camisoles from other sources but they were too long and not pure cotton. Lake Jane’s cotton camis are perfect. They disguise the fact that I am not wearing a bra (nice and thick and cozy) and they fall perfectly, just below the waist. Then I discovered your bralettes and they also work well in summer or under the camis. And then I found Lake Jake had full underpants and they are perfect seeing I now only wear high waisted jeans. I am building my Lake Jane collection. They also wash so well and dry without have to be put in the dryer. Love them all.


You have 30 piano students! How did you get into teaching lessons and build up your robust clientele?

I taught music in the classroom from age 21 to 63, mainly to high schoolers in Australia and then at an elementary school here in Durham. I loved it but I was getting tired and more impatient than I like to be (especially with middle school boys!) so I decided to open a private studio to teach piano, guitar, ukulele, and voice lessons. I also teach composition and the notation software, Finale. My first clientele were from the school, Immaculata Catholic School, and the church there where I played for Spanish and English masses. Then the word spread in this neighborhood and I am so lucky; I have never had to advertise. I have always had a waiting list. I used to teach up to 42 students each week but at 76 I was again getting tired and I have other projects so I have cut back to 30 right now - still with a waiting list.


Do you have any creative projects in the works for the Spring? Gardening? Getting back into painting?

The garden of course. I need to take out some old shrubs and plant new but I am not really an expert so I need to consult with a knowledgeable person! I love painting but I do not have a set up for it and the same with sewing but now I am drawing and I decided that seeing I eat a plant-based diet, why not draw vegetables and fruit as still life. Love it. Two done and one on the go. I also love photography and I want to upgrade my real Canon camera and eschew my iPhone but that will take some cash. I also have to see my daughters and I am booked to go to the UK in June to see my youngest and still contemplating Australia to see my eldest.

We know you love to cook— Will you share a favorite recipe? 

Yesterday I made my favorite enchilada sauce from scratch (so much better than the store-bought kind!) I confess that many of my recipes come from the internet! But this one works so well! 


You grew up in Australia and have lived in the US for years. What parts of Australia do you still carry with you and bring into your everyday life?

I came to the USA 11/19/2001 so I have been here over 20 years, but Australia is still my country and I have dual citizenship. I have also lived in the UK and I loved it there. In fact my South African friend (married, like me, to an American) and I both agree that if we had to choose, the UK would be high on our list of best places to live. What I miss in Australia is the country - the bush, the gum trees, the more relaxed way people have about them, and I miss the beaches and surf. Sometimes I walk in the forest here and the trees smell wrong - pine not eucalyptus. I love listening to Gurrumul, an aboriginal singer, and it makes me sad that I seem to not be able to spend much time in Fremantle, Western Australia, where my daughter lives. I love Fremantle even though I was born and lived on the other side of the continent. Fremantle has beaches and a big port where I love to watch the big liners come in. On my bucket list is to drive across the far north of the country from east to west but that takes some major planning and expense to do it safely. One day!


We had such fun spending time with Lorna for a photoshoot, and hearing more about her life and adventures. To read more about her music teaching, or perhaps inquire about being added to her student waitlist, visit her impeccably maintained website. 

Featured here in her home piano studio, Lorna layers our classic Camisole in white over her Geranium bralette.

Lorna’s set in Geranium perfectly matched these Icelandic poppies she picked up from the farmer’s market.

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