Happies, September 2017

Our September has been mainly warm and summer-y, but these last few days have definitely turned into fall. Inside the studio my students and I have returned to weekly lessons with enthusiasm and joy. Here are some things that made me smile this month:

  1. Young student who had been away returning to studio with enthusiasm
  2. New resources and ideas for the new school year
  3. New curtains!20170919_124841
  4. Eleven year old student transposing music just for the fun of it
  5. Nine year old student improvising on jazz scale
  6. Six year old student’s invitation to come stay at his house if our house ever burned down. 🙂 “You can teach us on our piano!”
  7. New binder cover designed by student20170926_124309
  8. After complimenting a student on her fine performance, she replies: “I learned a lot from my teacher.” 🙂

What made you smile this month?



Happies, August 2017

August brings with it the last few weeks of summer vacation and the nervous excitement of back to school. Here are some things that made us smile in the studio this month:

  1. Student, age 11, after working on a difficult piece: “The good thing about me is that after trying something twice I get it.” That is a good thing!
  2. Quote from author Marisa de los Santos in her book Belong To Me concerning Bach’s fugues: “It’s music so complicated you can hear the math in it.”
  3. Flashcard challenge for younger students – a good review at the end of summer!20170808_093841
  4. Sibling completing puzzles while waiting in lessons20170721_073052
  5. Eight year old student: “I can play this song without looking!”20170821_170506
  6. Ten year old student practicing transposing a piece from C position to G position remarked “C position sounds dull like a dirty penny and G position sounds shiny like a bright penny!”
  7. Two high school students who decided to lengthen their lessons to 45 minutes so that we could have more time to learn longer, more complicated pieces

Happies, July 2017

20170725_094805It’s been a beautiful summer with beautiful things happening in the studio! Here are a few things that made my happy this month:

  1. The “secret garden” outside of my studio window is in full bloom.
  2. The shimmer of aspen trees outside my studio window provide beautiful accompaniment to our piano music.
  3. 6 year old student: “I smiled at your dog and she smiled back at me!”
  4. A student has been working on “Simple Gifts”, a piece which was played in our wedding. The student played the completed, polished piece in a lesson which happened to take place on our nineteenth wedding anniversary, July 25. It felt like the sweetest anniversary gift!
  5. New student learning “Old MacDonald” in Faber Primer Lesson book came to his lesson, sat at the piano, set up his fingers on the black keys, turned his face away and played the piece looking the opposite direction. He was so excited to surprise me with his trick!
  6. I was waxing eloquent as I related the facts of Haydn’s life to an eight-year-old student. I included exciting details such as Haydn living in a real castle, composing music for a real-live prince and for real kings and queens who came to visit. The student nodded with bright eyes. I was sure I was igniting his imagination and creating enthusiasm for the next piece he would learn by Haydn. The student responds by asking: “Yes, but do you know about the Emoji movie?” 🙂
  7. After offering a prize to a student who had practiced every day for three weeks: “Maybe I should have two.” 🙂
  8. A mother emailed to describe her children practicing at home: “Thank you for being such a great teacher!  My kids all love going to piano. Eddy is cracking me up…everybody else when they were starting would get frustrated when they’d make a mistake,  but Eddy just keeps saying “I’m getting so good!”
    So thank you!”

Happies, June 2017

There is so much to celebrate!

Here are a few things that made me smile this month:

  1. Starting summer lessons – a more relaxed lesson environment with more student-choice pieces
  2. Starting siblings in lessons – always fun to see different personalities within the same family
  3. New student’s family sitting in on a lesson and exclaiming at the end “I learned so much!”
  4. Advanced student asking to play Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata” Of course you may!
  5. A studio puzzle to keep waiting siblings busy!20170718_124439

Happies, May 2017

The month of May was filled with many happy events in the piano studio!

  1. Our annual spring recital was wonderful. The kids played so beautifully, and I was thrilled.
  2. Parents, grandparents and supporters filled out Compliment Cards for the students during the recital. The students then read their compliments at their next lesson. I love our community coming together to support and encourage each other.
  3. Many parents and students gave beautiful gifts and wrote sweet thank you notes.
  4. Last lessons of the semester. What a terrific time to celebrate the many accomplishments of each student – practice, improvement at the piano, pieces learned. Each student is amazing in their own way.
  5. The accomplishments of Achievement Day
  6. The fulfillment of a year well-spent.

Happies, April 2017

These are a few things that made me smile this month:

  1. Autumn, age 9: “I’m getting really good at this!”
  2. The aspen trees outside my window in full leafy bloom
  3. Preparing for theory testing – students learning and comprehending new theoretical concepts and applying them to their music
  4. With only a few weeks left until the recital, finding a quick-learn recital piece for a student who had been ill for four weeks. Thank you, Robert Vandall!
  5. Siblings of current students beginning lessons
  6. Laughing with students after finding a fly in my tea during a lesson!20170419_160759What are the things bringing you joy in your teaching? I’d love to hear about them!

Happies, March 2017



My students make me happy! Here are some things I’m thankful for this month:

  1. Teaching with windows open! Love the fresh breeze coming through the studio.
  2. With the arrival of daylight savings time, the changing light in the studio. I now have daylight through my entire teaching day.
  3. A new beta fish for the studio, and the fun of students suggesting and voting on names for the fish.
  4. Students preparing for spring competitions, recitals and festivals. And the joy of choosing exciting pieces for these events.
  5. These awesome erasers. I am using them to help teach scales, whole steps, half steps, intervals, up and down on the keyboard, etc. The students love them and want to take them home!20170323_174429