Devon competed in the Music Teachers Association Concerto Competition, District 6, 2019, performing the Grieg Piano Concerto. His performance of the concerto was definitely the best so far. The joy on his face made the day for me.
I recently began teaching a student who was getting ready for a college audition. She had only six weeks to prepare with me and had almost given up hope that she would be able to have a successful audition. It was easy to see that she was very down on herself and had little confidence. She was ready to quit music all together. We met for a lesson each week, and each week I could see a little spark of life come back into her eyes. I am happy to say that she reported a successful audition, and she has seen what her focused work and ability can do. I’m so proud of her.
A former student of mine recently graduated from the Vienna Conservatory as a piano major and doing very well. I am proud of his successes and enjoy hearing about the latest concerts and projects. Most former students have gone on to college and have studied many different subjects including music. Their piano studies will have a profound effect on their lives whether or not it is a chosen profession.
I have a friend who is a veterinarian. One day as we were talking about our chosen careers, he described his interview for residency to become a veterinarian. The competition was very high and he had little hope that he would be chosen. However, what caught the attention of the panel responsible for choosing a resident was his history of taking piano lessons and being proficient in piano skills. He didn’t have the highest scores or grades, but because the panel understood the discipline and dedication required become an accomplished pianist, he was chosen.
I am a strong supporter of music education, but not for the reasons you may think. Numerous studies exist to support student success in school and in life when given the ability to study music. The students who do not go into music as a career are just as important as the ones who do. The student who does not pursue music, will be the next generation of adults supporting music education for the joy and discipline it brought into their lives.
I am a board member of the Kretzer Piano Music Foundation, and we sponsor student scholarships for those who are unable to afford music lessons. We donate the use of pianos for those students who need one as well. Through my own experiences of scholarship opportunities, I am sure that I would not be doing the work I love, if it weren’t for my beloved teacher Natalie Klimkevich. Her dedication and love for her students lives on through people like me who were fortunate enough to receive a piano scholarship at the age of eleven. Although she is no longer living, I am eternally grateful for the enrichment of music in my life and I am dedicated to help others receive the joy-filled gift of music!