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Daisies and Dandelions
Posted on May 18th, 2017 
Wow did I HATE piano lessons.
Tuning Piano At Planet e Studios
Dear Mrs. Claire, my beloved piano teacher and friend, please know that this has nothing to do with you whatsoever- but I really hated piano lessons. It was hard! I couldn't even remember the notes on the staff. And I'm not just talking about the bass clef notes (that was completely miserable), but the treble clef notes too! Even throughout college I had to sit there saying "Every Good Boy Does Fine" in my head, while moving my finger along the lines and spaces of the manuscript paper on my desk to try to figure out the notes. Forget about putting two hands together on a difficult piece of music. It would take me so very many hours.

I don't know why my brain couldn't figure it out, but what I do know is that it frustrated me to no end. I loved my piano teacher, I loved the experience of taking my piano books in my little piano book bag and walking to my lessons. I loved the connection I had with the music I was trying to play. But Lord, practicing and playing drove me crazy. Since I couldn't read the music well, I would try to memorize it. In theory, this is similar to how we learn to spell vocabulary words or do our multiplication tables (which I also can't do well). In practicality, memorizing every week's piano lesson pieces was quite the challenge.

My fondest memory of practicing and playing the piano was when my loving mother (who studied music at a Conservatory in Latvia and who is also an accomplished pianist and now retired piano teacher) brought me a pillow and put it next to me on the piano bench. She did this because she was tired of hearing me slam and bang on the keys every time I made a mistake- I made A LOT of mistakes- and she told me to hit the pillow instead of the piano.

Listen, piano lessons aren't always daisies and dandelions. After three years, my mom finally let me quit lessons. I went on to dance classes, musical theater productions, singing in multiple choirs, etcetera. I made sure not to lose my extracurricular dose of music. Piano lessons just weren't for me. 
Baby Checking the Tune of the Piano
Trust me, I understand the irony of my being a piano teacher. Let me explain it this way: I love teaching. I really love teaching piano. I think I love teaching piano because I know what made me angry about it and so I know how to prevent that for my students. I know what lesson and theory books to switch between and I know how to make it personalized and fun. I know how to bring out the daisies and dandelions. That doesn't mean it isn't still hard. In piano lessons, students develop a lot of different skills and activate a lot of different parts of their bodies and their brains; It's quite the mental workout.

So if you or your offspring are taking piano lessons, know that you are doing something wonderful and really challenging for yourself (or for your kids if it's your offspring taking the lessons). If you or your offspring want to take lessons, give me a try! I mean, give it a try. I really mean try it with me 😊. Let's have fun and create music together.
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By Emily Feinberg-Hosier
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Emily Hosier conducting her elementary students at their Winter Concert
The entire week of the concerts, we had been dress rehearsing. Teaching 110 kindergarteners, 155 first graders, 158 second graders, and 45 third graders how to walk on and off stage, where and how to stand on stage, and how to perform on stage without falling off the risers or getting hurt is no easy feat.
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