Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Update on The World's Youngest Piano Teacher*

Following on Jason’s earlier update, let’s visit Jillian and her piano progress. We are actively seeking a piano teacher for Jillian. Recently, I asked her what she would be looking for from a piano teacher. “Well, I would want her to be young, like my music teacher at school, and really nice. Like my music teacher from school. She’s really nice.”

So Sue fired off an email to the school’s music teacher. Since she is Jillian’s Platonic Ideal for a piano teacher, wouldn’t have that been nice if she also taught private piano lessons? Sadly, she lives a cool 45 minutes from us, and no longer does lessons. So we’re waiting for a list of alternatives from her. Sue and I figured, incorrectly, it seems, that this sort of thing comes up all the time. I mean, if you were an elementary school music teacher, wouldn’t have a list or some sort of Rolodex of local piano teachers? Conversely, if you were a local piano teacher, wouldn’t you want to be on good terms with the local elementary school’s music teacher? Maybe music doesn’t work this way. Or maybe there isn’t much demand for piano lessons.

Returning to my conversation with Jillian.

“Jillian, what would you want to learn from your piano teacher?”

“Well, how to play the piano, of course.” Sometimes, Jillian can be a little sassy. We're working on it. This was not a sassy response. She was genuinely perplexed by this question.

“Right, but how will you know that you can play the piano? What do you want to be able to play that you can’t right now?”

“The rest of my Red book. And then the next one. Blue, I think. All the way to the Gray Book. I want to play the Gray Book some day. I bet that is really hard.” The books she’s referring to, by the way, are from the Schaum series, used by her first piano teacher.

“You realize your new teacher may use a different series of books, right?”

“Like what?”

“Oh, I don’t know. I just don’t want you to think that if your teacher breaks out a book you haven’t seen before, that you won’t still learn how to play the piano.”

“Ok, so long as she is nice. But I will still play my Red Book.”

That was about four days ago. This morning, at 6:45 AM, Jillian was on the piano, headphones on so as not to disturb the youngest or oldest members of the Aw2pp family, working through something in her Schaum Red Book.

* - I have no delusions that Jillian is really the World’s Youngest Piano Teacher, any more than I think Jason really is the World’s Largest Kindergartener. Just to be clear. I just have a thing for cool titles.

1 comment:

Michelle Himes said...

I enjoyed the update. They both sound like great kids. I hope you find Jillian the perfect piano teacher.