Secrets of a Piano Teacher: I’m actually napping behind my ninja mask.

Oleander has asked me to discuss my life as a piano teacher. The subtleties of the profession. You know, the dirt.

There’s this thing about piano students.

They keep coming back. Every week, even.

Actually, running a piano studio is like a regular job. Yes, it’s work. 

478e34884d66f839187a13e4cc5a56d6And also actually, being a piano teacher is kind of like being a ninja. Except for the stealth. And the awesome outfit.

Craftily planning individual lessons for thirty students of varied age, talent, interest, practice and attention span. Covertly scheduling lessons, group activities, recitals, parties. Furtively interviewing potential students and parents, attending workshops and events to find new materials and music. Surreptitiously assessing student progress, meeting with parents to discuss to strengths and goals. Clandestinely banking, preparing tax statements, filing business license forms. And then, finally, teaching.- All with a SMILE underneath your awesome ninja mask!

Note: Picture a ninja with a smile. But with a nunchuk at the ready.63317375

Yes, I love teaching. And it doesn’t matter really all that much what I teach. And I love kids and I even love teenagers.


But teaching is hard too. Student excuses for not practicing are legendary in their creativity:

  • imageI left my piano books at my Grandma’s house. In Wisconsin. Or someplace.
  • I sprained my finger and it just got better today. What are the odds?
  • My Mom told me not to practice because she had a headache. Note: Okay this could be true. Ninjas get headaches, too.
  • I just broke up with my boyfriend/girlfriend. I can’t concentrate/the music makes me cry.
  • I had baseball practice/play practice/swim practice/volleyball practice/basketball practice or pretty much any other kind of practice you can imagine!

So, teaching then consists of song and dance routines (literally and figuratively), therapy sessions, cheerleading seminars, gentle reprimands, encouragement, patience and then a little more patience and encouragement.

pianobike_c_246362The end result may or may not be a great pianist.

But often, I feel I have a role in creating an awesome human being!

Heck, yes!


P.S. I just noticed that the piano dude is naked. I guess his ninja outfit blew off on the freeway.

Okay Oleander: Smell, Smelled or Smelt. You choose.