During my over two decades of teaching and at the same time watching my children grow I have grown to think that piano lessons are a major part of child’s growth. We, piano teachers have a chance to effect our students positively and help them to grow into adults who are confident and dare to express their thoughts and their creativity. The world is changing. Creativity is valued in the world of work. Only a small percent of our students become as a professional musician. For those we have to give all the help they need in their studies to gain that dream. Those, who won’t have music as an occupation, I hope to have a lifelong love of music and other arts and open-mindedness to new ideas and creativity.
I always create a positive, confidential and encouraging atmosphere in my piano lessons where my students can feel comfortable and appreciated. I give value to my students and their musical ideas and the interpretation and presentation of the music they are playing. I am positive and encouraging and give feedback in a constructive spirit. Being a mother of three beautiful children have changed my perspective quite a lot. I’m still ambitious about the learning of my students, but nowadays I also understand better those students, who are not so eager to play the piano but are looking for a way to express themselves and find joy and comfort in life from music.
Composing is a very sensitive subject and many times takes students outside of their comfort zone. It is a very delicate moment when a student shares his or her musical ideas to me. Earlier I introduced the exercise “yes and” and I’m always in that “yes, and” mode, when we are composing together. Many times my students ideas have been so different from my thoughts how their composition should continue that I have had a moment when I would have wanted to say “yes, but should this go differently”. Still I have kept those thoughts in my mind and I have just said, “yes, that sounds great. And how are you planning to continue?” Not interfering too much and letting my students to have the control in their composing has led to compositions which are unique and have totally new ideas.
As I said, the atmosphere in my class is appreciative and inspirational, where my students feel safe to be creative and feel that they are valued, wonderful children and young people with whom I have a joy to play the piano.