Cornelia Watkins received a Bachelor of Music degree from the Hartt School of Music, where she studied with David Wells. She spent many summers studying chamber music at the Yellow Barn Music Festival in Putney, Vermont, and subsequently moved to Vermont to teach at the Brattleboro Music Center, where she performed with the Wantastiquet Chamber Players and Blanche Honegger Moyse’s Bach Festival Orchestra.
In 1982 Corky moved to Houston, Texas as a fellowship recipient to receive her Masters of Music degree from the University of Houston under the tutelage of Hans Jørgen Jensen. She lived and performed in Houston for thirty-six years, teaching preparatory cello and graduate pedagogy as a Lecturer in Music at the Shepherd School of Music, Rice University.
After decades of heat, flooding and concrete, Corky and her husband Max moved to Madison, Wisconsin in 2018. She now teaches pedagogy at Northwestern University, and continues to teach privately, work with the CMP committee, and present teacher training clinics around the country. She has written articles for The Strad, Wisconsin School Musician, and American String Teacher. Her second book, “From the Stage to the Studio: How Fine Musicians Become Great Teachers,” co-authored by Laurie Scott, was published by Oxford University Press in 2012.
She and her cellist husband Max Dyer have three very tall sons: Daniel, Jeremy, and Michael.