This year I’m celebrating 50 happy and satisfying years as a piano teacher! I was 13 and had been taking piano for 8 years when my piano teacher suggested I might take on a student of my own. Excited, I recruited a friend’s younger brother who was 9. Not long after that I began teaching his 2 cousins followed by a young man from his cub scout group. Next came the little girl next door as well as the 3 daughters of a friend of her Mom’s. Suddenly I had 8 piano students and I was only in the 8th grade!
I have always wondered if my teacher suggested teaching to encourage me to practice more or if she thought I might pass along my better students to her? In any event, having so many students gave me a sense of responsibility that caused me to work harder and take practice more seriously. This in turn made me a better pianist as well as teacher.
Once I began teaching, I stayed with it all the way through high school and even while attending college at USC. I loved teaching piano! I maintained a private studio with anywhere from 20 to 30 students, each having a 30-minute private lesson per week. I had recitals too. Each student would play at least one piece and I would play as well. I really appreciated it when my student’s parents said they hoped their child would learn to play half as well as me. Their positive feedback and encouragement made it all worth it to me. Many of my students stayed with me for years. I am proud to have had students who started while in kindergarten and stayed through high school! To this day I enjoy being in touch with many of them!
To all my students who have been part of my career and the joy I have experienced as a piano teacher, I thank you!