24 Reasons I Love the Piano

I admit it. I wrote a post called “19 Reasons I Hate the Piano”.

 I guess I was feeling a bit annoyed that day.

But these days I need a dose of gratitude. With all of the bad news going around I knew I needed to take stock of the things I am thankful for. I really am so very thankful for the piano and for music. I had actually finished (but didn’t publish) this post before the COVID 19 situation I feel that this might be a good “pick me up” for teachers as we head into month 7 of this new and unfamiliar world. I hope this finds all of you safe and your families well.

I started out playing the violin and played in the orchestra all the way through high school. I took private lessons for two years with an amazing teacher. Marilyn Benachowsky was a Julliard Graduate and had retired from her position as concertmistress with the Detroit Symphony! I loved her but I barely practiced my violin. Though my teacher was amazing, and I think the violin is beautiful (when someone else plays it) I was also studying the piano and when practice time came around the 88 keys always won out over the bow and strings.

When I was seven years old, my pop bought an antique player piano. The kind that uses paper rolls of music with holes that you pump air through, the keys go up and down and make music. (That’s my best explanation).

Anyway, as soon as I saw that piano, I wanted to play it. I took me a while to convince my mom to send me to lessons but she did and that, as they say, was IT!

So, here are 24 reasons I love, love, love the piano.

Some of the reasons are serious and some are just well…silly. Have fun reading.

1- Pianists don’t need other musicians – Playing the piano means being self-sufficient. I can play with others if I wish to, but the piano is just fine all by itself. (And these days that’s a big deal.)

2- Pianists can play any style of music. – The piano is a versatile instrument. Classical, pop, jazz just about any style of music can be played on the piano. Other instruments can do this as well, but the piano easily lends itself to many genres.

3- I get to play lots of different pianos – Most musicians bring their instruments with them wherever they go. As piano players, we play whatever is at the venue. I have gotten to experience playing some amazing pianos. Pianos that I could never afford to buy myself.

Of course, I have also come across some really bad pianos, but that’s a subject covered in another post.

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The Arts…Who needs ‘em?

“We live in this world in order always to learn, and to enlighten each other by means of discussion and to vigorously promote the progress and the fine arts.”

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

“Art is not a thing, it’s a way”.

Elbert Hubbard

“To send light into the into the darkness of men’s hearts, such is the duty of the artist.”

Robert Schumann

Five – six – seven – and point and point hop back two three, lift two three, lift two three…

I’m sitting here on a Saturday afternoon listening to my granddaughter’s Irish dance teacher teaching her to do the reel. Why does this make me so happy? Why do we need dance, or music, or art, or literature for that matter? Why?

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Positive Perspective Piano Teaching

This post is an excerpt from my upcoming book

“The Happiest Piano Teacher in Town” Empowering Teachers to Inspire Students.

“A Miracle is a shift in perspective.” The Monarch System

So what is perspective anyway? I think we all have some idea.

“A simple shift in your perspective about the importance or meaning of a particular event, or a shift in your belief about your capacity to cope with it positively, can change your focus and your emotional reality”. Definition from dictionary.com

I have discovered that perspective is just about everything in teaching and in life. My perspective is powerful. It determines what I believe and what I believe determines how I feel. How I feel impacts my outlook on life and my outlook on others. If I am feeling good and peaceful I can focus and get more accomplished. If I am enthusiastic and energetic I am more creative. My perspective is also contagious when I am happy and motivated the people around me are likely to be happy. and motivated, If I am excited they probably will be as well.

In short, I have found that the world around me turns out to be a reflection of what is going on inside of myself.  This means that if I wish to have a vibrant joyful studio, I need to be a vibrant joyful teacher. For me, the key to this is to be able to maintain a positive perspective in any situation. Not only to think of new ways to do things but to see things that could be perceived as negative in a positive light.

I read this story some time ago.

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Playing Piano Over the Summer

summer-beach

Why students Should Continue Playing the Piano Over the Summer

I posted this article last year I am reposting it with a few changes. Feel free to share it with you student’s parents or send them over to piano parents.net where I have a similar post.

I had a conversation with a guitar teacher friend the other day and the subject of summer vacation came up. I asked him how his summer teaching usually goes. He admitted that summers are usually very slow and that he wasn’t looking forward to summer vacation at all. I would have to say that most studio teachers (myself included) share that experience. Which leads me to the question should students take the entire summer off of music lessons?
My answer would be a resounding no! Here’s why; Continue reading “Playing Piano Over the Summer”