Showing posts from November, 2022

In Memory of my First Piano Teacher

I spent some time this past week thinking about the legacy of my piano teachers, and how what they began in me is continuing as I teach my own students. These reflections began because my first piano teacher, who was also a close family friend, passed away a couple weeks ago. I wanted to spend some time in this week's blog post remembering her impact, and how that is continuing to show up in my own teaching.  Her name was Jackie Wickstrom. She had a wonderful sense of humor, and a knack for saying things in a way that made you really hear her without ever having to be severe or firm. She was also my mom's best friend, I called her Aunt Jackie. This picture below was taken after one of my first piano recitals as a teacher, which Jackie attended. She is on the right, and is offering me some lovely words of encouragement couched in her usual trademark humor.  In her piano teaching, she found simple incentives that worked to motivate her students. One I remember best was the jar of

Pursuing Piano as a Hobby or Something More?

Understanding our own goals and expectations when we sign up for a new pursuit can go a long way to smoothing the road ahead of us, and ensuring that we are working to achieve those goals. When children sign up for piano lessons, it is often to try it out and see if it sticks. And sometimes, somewhere along the way, we realize it will stick. We might even love it and want to pursue it at a higher level. Or we may learn that we love music, but career and higher education goals are pointing a different direction.  Both of these are great outcomes, and our goals and time investment can be updated to suit the level of mastery we are looking for.  It is 100% ok to pursue music or piano study as a hobby. And hobby players can find ways to perform and share their music in meaningful ways just as easily as professional musicians, because music fits both into the formal and informal parts of our lives. It's baked into our culture and celebrations, and it's for everyone to participate in