I’m so glad you were touched by the story! It means a lot to share this special time with all of you. I was so happy yesterday to start teaching again - the surprise gift was icing on the cake!
About my teaching style…I’m not your average “critical” piano teacher. I had one of those when I was in college. She was so mean…criticizing my playing to the point where I ended up in tears on the piano bench…and SHE KEPT ON CRITICIZING. I quit piano that day and changed to an Organ major instead. I swore that I would NEVER be that way with any of my students. The day I make a student that unhappy is the day I will quit teaching.
I decided instead to be an encouraging, nurturing teacher. I am extremely patient, and try to correct them with positive words. My students enjoy talking to me also. (We usually take about 5 minutes of lesson time just sharing our week!) I think it’s important that we have a relationship like this. They listen better, and they are more relaxed when they play.
I believe that playing the piano should be a JOY, not a chore. There’s nothing more disappointing to me than to see a student who wins competitions, but hates every minute of it. When they lose the love of music, there is no hope of them continuing to play as they get older. If they hold on to the love, they will enjoy playing for the rest of their lives.