Tuesday, January 8, 2013

A Tribute to My Piano Teacher :: 2012 in Vignettes


In 2012, I began studying piano again after 10 years! Though I'm very grateful for all teachers along the journey, my current piano teacher gets me like none other I've had. She connects to my style of learning and appreciates my insatiable curiosity about music.

The first time we met for a session, I was telling her a little of my experience to give her a sense of my background. I shared with her matter-of-factly: "I had 2 semesters of Music Theory in College and I just sucked at it." Without a moment's hesitation, she compassionately said, "Awh, that probably just means your teacher didn't understand the best way to teach you."

Suddenly, I realized, all this time, I'd thought I did poorly in those courses because there was something wrong with me.  Now, there was nothing wrong with my teacher either. He was fine. We simply just didn't get each other and I was often made to feel that my background was less than sufficient. Naturally, I thought I wasn't working for the course rather than that the course wasn't working for me because I was the one being evaluated and graded and not measuring up.

When my piano teacher said those words, I literally thought: "You mean it's not because I was stupid [about music]!?!" I had know idea I even needed compassion; but she gently interrupted my train of thought and shook up a belief I've had about myself for years, a frame of mind that has held me back and made me feel inferior to other musicians for far too long.


We'll continue to work together - not to mention, have a whole lot of fun - in 2013 with her incredible, integrative style: the basis of piano alongside some guided listening, theory, music history and connection to other arts. She enriches my life wonderfully and has been a conduit of healing and grace. I feel liberated to learn and not stop just because of my age or whatever silly reason. I'm so excited to keep learning more and share with you all what I'll write because of this wonderful instrument now becoming a more regular part of my life.

With gratitude and joy,


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