I have been teaching piano for over 12 years now, and have been running my own piano studio here in Sacramento for close to 7 years now. Tonight I ran one of my piano improv classes with 3 students. We played three different songs, and they jammed the whole way: playing solos, playing accompaniment, listening to each other to stay together, and shaping how they wanted to play the tune. It was a whole lot of fun, so as I sat down to do today’s blog I feel like writing it a little about how fun it is to have my own little music community at my home piano studio.
Each week I have classes like this, were small groups of adults come together for a class, very often to play together, sometimes to play their own solo pieces for each other. Sometimes students are literally playing their own pieces: as in music they composed. Whenever someone shares what they are up to musically, the other students benefit from it, getting ideas on what they can play, or how they can approach their own music. It’s a very creative atmosphere where music is fun.
Naturally, I have a lot of fun as a result. I get a great kick out of presiding over the going ons. It is awesome to see students improving and expanding, as well to see the peer-to-peer value created. I know that students get a lot out of their experience: not just working with me personally, but in seeing each other progress. There is so much value that I could not provide if I was just doing it all myself one-on-one. It is very much a community where learning is fun, and where making music is shared and appreciated.
I never really knew what would transpire when I started my piano studio. But I think this what I would have wanted. It is satisfying knowing that I have created a sort of musical oasis, where these students get to come and play music in a supportive environment. Many of them would not be making music at all if it weren’t for coming to the studio.
Personally, I think that one of the great things about being an adult is the ability to learn new things, and I like seeing that I have created a place where adults can do this. Many piano teachers focus on kids, and I commend them. For me, it’s working that adults, by and large, that appeals to my sensibility and personality. Part of it is just how much they enjoy being here.
Amongst kindred spirits, other adults who are pleased as punch to be able to bring some music into their lives.