I grew up in a home that had a piano in the living room so as a small child I would often plunk around as I wandered through the room. My mom had taught my older brother and sister for a while. I, being a fairly competitive third child, couldn’t stand to be left out. I began to teach myself when I was about 6 and my mom gave me a few lessons – enough so I knew the gist of how to read music, although I wasn’t fluent. By the time I was 7, my parents decided I should get lessons. I am so grateful they made this decision because it wasn’t too late to undo some of my sloppy habits!
At my first recital, I heard a more advanced student play “Spinning Song” by Albert Ellmenreich and I immediately decided I had to play that song. My teacher told me the student who played it had been studying piano for two years so, being the competitive child I was, I had to do it in one. The next year at the recital, it was my name in the program next to “Spinning Song.” 🙂
I have had three teachers in the course of my formal piano training and each has taught me not only how to make better music, but also how to be a better teacher. Through recognizing my competitive nature, my first teacher taught me how to motivate and inspire students. Through selecting great repertoire and teaching me the theory, history, and background of the music, my second teacher taught me how to foster a love of music in my students. Through a high standard of technical mastery and musical excellence, my third teacher taught me how to hear musically and to effectively coach students to reach a higher level of understanding and musical mastery.
On a whim, I began teaching in high school. A friend of my mom’s asked if I would teach her daughter and my teacher thought I was ready for students, so I did.
It turned out, I really loved teaching!
I went on to double-major in Entrepreneurship and Piano Performance at Saint Louis University, where I studied piano under Dr. Jennifer Lim-Judd and I have been teaching wonderfully inquisitive students since 2003!
Today I teach students in my home studio in St. Louis city (Tower Grove East) and virtually.
Now what about you? Where are you in your musical story?