Yesterday, my Grandma passed away after 93 years of what I can truly call a full and rich life. I was fortunate to be there in her final moments. And I was so fortunate to be able to say everything I wanted to say. One of those things was “Thank you for giving me music.”
My Grandma gave me her own piano when I was 5 years old. She paid for my piano lessons right up until I went to University to pursue a degree in music. She attended every single one of my recitals and concerts; she was always there in the audience dabbing her eyes as I performed – she cried every time. My Grandma bought me season passes to the Symphony and took me to the Opera regularly. We spent a lot of time together “out on the town” attending various musical events. Her purse was always full of Mentos for intermission, and if she happened to attend an event solo she would save the program for me in a carefully folded fashion. She bought me lemon meringue pie whether or not I won my musical festival class. She bought me a piano when I graduated University. When I began teaching piano lessons she then attended all of my students’ performances. One of her favorite questions to ask was “How many students do you have now?!” Yes, she herself had her ARCT and spent many years as an accompanist – but it wasn’t simply her skills that influenced me as a child.
There are many parts of my Grandma that I love – she has an adventurous side (she’s been up the Amazon and to the Antarctic among many other destinations) and she has an uncanny ability to turn brief aquaintenances into life-long friends – but the part of my Grandma that I will hold dearest and that had the largest influence on me is our shared passion for the piano.
A True Musical Legacy Through The Piano
It gave me great comfort to tell her yesterday that, because of her, every year over 300 children have music as a part of their lives, as without her I would not have my music studio. And without her there would not be this amazing online community of sharing amongst piano teachers literally stretching around the world.
And it got me thinking that my own musical legacy has really only just begun. Yes, I have created a career that allows me to share my love of music with many many children in my small community… and yes, my own daughter also is learning to love to play the piano. But I think I can do more. And this is why I am so passionate about helping other piano teachers through our website.
As piano teachers, we have an important choice…
We can choose to simply teach piano. Or, we can choose to leave a musical legacy. The “ripple effect” of bringing music to the lives of others is fantastically powerful. In fact, if over the course of your entire career you teach 100 students, and each have an average of 2 children… and if your influence was strong enough for them to pass on their passion for music to their offspring, within a span of three generations you have the potential to have touched the lives of 700 people in a truly profound way. Imagine the effect after three, four, five generations! What a gift we have the potential to give.
And what a gift my Grandma has given me. Rest in peace Grandma. I love you.