Flash Forward: These are Your Students

Sruti playing at my adult student class at the home of my student, Dave. 

They'd all brought dessert. Every last one of them. I'd forgotten to suggest some of them bring appetizers so we had a plethora of sweets. That was the only thing that went wrong, though. Otherwise, the afternoon was wonderful.

I write often about the kids I teach. I don't write as much about the adults. I teach about a dozen adult students, and they are equally rewarding in quite different ways.

Too many wonderful desserts.

Last Sunday I realized that I'd had the pleasure of teaching only one of these performers as a high school student. And even she had been a transfer from my dear friend, Keith Snell. (We should all be that lucky!)  All the rest of them came to me as adults. They'd been taught by teachers I'd never met. Teachers who'd taught them about sharps and flats, about making a melody sing and how to play in time. Far more important, though, these teachers fostered a love of music. These adult students, these doctors and engineers, want to make music. They know that they will never find anything else that will give them the same satisfaction. The same way to express themselves.

To the teachers out there doing their best every day, remember that what you do is important. It matters.

As you watch this video, imagine each of these students is one of the little boys or girls in your studio - all grown up. Maybe it's the girl who makes you want to pull your hair out sometimes. Or the boy who brings a tear to your eye with a beautiful phrase. Because somewhere, five years ago, or fifteen years ago, or sixty years ago (yes, Dave is 84 now and still taking piano lessons!) a teacher taught these musicians that I teach today. And somewhere five years, or twenty years in the future, someone may feel about you just the way I feel about these former teachers.

To those teachers I will never have the pleasure of meeting, I say "Thank you for making music a joyous, meaningful part of these lives. Thank you for teaching."

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