In my former life, what seems like a million years ago, I was a piano teacher. That was my primary job in college. I was a music major training in piano performance so it was a given.
I actually used to make my living accompanying, but the thing is, I married a musician, and I got tired of neither of us having stability. So after spending way too much in student loans on a PhD I didn’t finish (while making money accompanying), I went back for even *more* school to become a librarian.
Since I’ve had kids, I haven’t had much chance to play piano at all. I miss musical theatre and the friends I had there. I have considered teaching to make some extra money, but there is no time with all that I do. So, I often consider myself someone who *used to* play piano.
Last week, for some strange reason, I decided to touch a piano again. I sightread some Elton John, and played an old 10,000 maniacs tune I taught myself in high school.
I proudly announced on Facebook, “Hey I guess I remember how to play piano…” and one of my former students, who is all grown up now and a teacher herself, commented (word for word):
“If you were able to teach me… You could never forget how! You probably don’t remember, but I recall you playing a song for me so I could hear what it ought to sound like. When someone peeped in the door afterward, you pretended I played it and praised my abilities. Best piano teacher ever.”
I tell you. I cried a little reading that.
It made me think. Here I am, still teaching, just not teaching piano. I know that when I have a one-shot session class, we probably don’t mind like I did with that student. But I hope I’m making a difference, in some small way, for at least someone.