As a youth I took piano lessons for about 5 to 6 years from a family friend who taught around 20 students. By the time I graduated High School (1996), I felt I knew how to play the piano fairly well. I was married later that year and my husband joined the Air Force. I became a stay-at-home mom within that first year and after a 6-month stop in Texas, for training, we were then stationed in England (1998). While there, I accompanied the children’s singing time at church.
Two years later (2000), we were stationed in Omaha, Nebraska where I was once again asked to accompany the children’s singing time at church. A couple of church friends asked me if I’d be willing to teach their kids piano lessons. I said I would. I really enjoyed teaching, but I learned that I really didn’t know enough to teach them for long, so I decided to go to college. I enrolled at the University of Nebraska at Omaha and spent the first two years getting my basic courses done, going only part time. Then I decided I was ready to enroll in the Fine Arts department with a major in Music Education with an emphasis in piano. I had the opportunity to be taught piano by Dr. James Johnson. I loved that time in school, but sadly the military decided we had to move to Germany. Alas, I was unable to complete my degree.
While in Germany (2004-2009), I taught between 20 and 28 students at any given time. This is where I really learned how to teach and run a studio. I had the great opportunity to study under a private piano teacher named Holly Jones who has a Master degree in piano performance. I learned so much from her, not only in how to perform better, but how to run a piano studio as well. I am so grateful to her for that.
After spending 4 ½ years in Germany, the Air Force stationed us in Colorado Springs, CO at the Air Force Academy (2009-2011). We were there for 2 ½ years and I taught between 18 and 24 students at any given time. I accompanied the children’s singing time at church and also studied piano under 2 different private piano teachers (not concurrently) who were both certified through the Music Teachers National Association.
My wonderful husband was accepted into the Interservice Physician Assistant Program and we were off to San Antonio, TX for 14 months of school (2011-2012). While there, I taught 7 students and took private lessons again from a nationally certified teacher. Then we moved on to Omaha, NE for his internship, which only lasted 15 months (2012-2013). While there, I taught 9 students and took lessons from a teacher who held a doctorate degree in piano pedagogy, Dr. Paula Moseman. I was asked to accompany the choir at church while in Nebraska, and loved the challenges of choral music. I also tried my hand at playing the organ a few times for church service. What a great learning experience!
And so, now (October 2013) we are back in Colorado, stationed at Peterson AFB for 4 years. Yay! We are living in Falcon and I am so excited to start teaching again. I am also starting a music program through Pikes Peak Community College that will have me learning music history, theory and taking private piano lessons. I am so excited! I absolutely love to take piano lessons and I feel I will never be too old or too advanced to take lessons. Just as school teachers are required to take classes to keep their certification, I believe piano teachers should take lessons when they can. If not, private lessons, at least a group class now and again to keep up on their skills and learn about new and cutting edge teaching ideas. When I finish school at Pikes Peak Community College, I will have earned an associate degree in general studies with an emphasis on piano. And this will help me get nationally certified. After that I can pursue a Bachelor program if I desire. We shall see what the future holds!
updated October 11, 2013
I am now studying piano and music theory at Pikes Peak Community College. By 2017, I will have my associates degree and will begin working toward getting nationally certified. My private studio has grown to 23 students in the last 18 months. The most exciting thing happening in my studio this year is that I have found some cutting edge method books that get students reading music on the staff right away. Even students as young as 5 can learn to read music on the staff right from the start. These new method books and their supplements, keep my students excited about the music they are playing, and I have never been more excited to teach piano than I am right now! Updated August 2015
Yay, I have recently moved to Hawaii and am excited to start teaching here. I am pleased to say that I earned my Associate degree in general studies with an emphasis in music and piano. I have learned so much and am ready to share my knowledge with my students! Update August 2016