About Muse and Mate

Muse and Mate was just a scrappy template Winter designed to solve her own problems as an adult cello learner in 2020, namely, practice was hard and progress was inconsistent. Her cello teacher, Amber, understood the struggle of adult musicians only too well, having taught many of them over the years. Together, the cello student-teacher duo embarked on the journey to make a beautiful, useful, and effective practice journal for musicians who cares about practicing a bit better each day.

We believe the value of a practice journal is to inspire and assist in real progress while enjoying the journey. To that end, the journal was structured based on the principles of deliberate practice to guide musicians set goals and intentions, plan and reflect on their practice, get feedback, and track progress overtime — all have shown to help make sustainable improvements. Additionally, we meticulously designed the journal to create a comfortable and introspective writing experience, understanding the tactical and sensual experience is essential to all musicians. 

As the name Muse and Mate suggests, a muse inspires and guides you to practice more effectively without losing your creative expression. A mate helps you learn about your own practice patterns and cheer you on.  Muse and Mate will accompany you on this journey so you can go as far, as long, and as deep as your heart desires. All you need to do is to stay seriously enthusiastic.



Muse and Mate inevitably combines Winter's two passions in life — design and music. 

Having been a designer, researcher, and design leader in the tech industry for over a decade, Winter knows a thing or two about designing great products that make people's lives better—in the case of Muse and Mate, a beautiful practice journal that inspires mindful, intentional, and joyful music practice. Winter founded Muse and Mate while working full-time as a Senior Design Manager at Shopify.

Winter started learning the cello in 2016 and has since been thinking, reading, and experimenting a lot about practice. She's experienced first-hand the progress made by building good practice habits and methods. Winter currently performs with two orchestras, and played in the Toronto Summer Music Festival's community chamber program in 2023.



Amber has taught cello for 24 years and is devoted to creating the most effective, high quality, and joyful learning experience for those who share her love of the cello. She is honing her ability to identify patterns and similarities amongst her students and, by empathizing wholeheartedly with the challenges they face, offer creative solutions to support progress and learning. She brings her insights as an experienced educator and passionate cellist to Muse and Mate. In addition to multiple teaching certifications, Amber holds Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Cello Performance. When she isn’t teaching, she enjoys performing a wide range of styles of music on both acoustic & electric cello, and has played her cello across Canada, Europe, and China with various symphonies and ensembles.