Last week I had a wonderful surprise: one of my students that I taught seven years ago came back to visit me! I taught him when he was 4 and 5 years old. We worked together diligently, yet had a lot of fun during the lessons. I myself didn’t have any children 7 years ago, so I was teaching a young child based on what I knew pedagogically, what I had learned in school. Now that I have two children myself, my views on working with children have definitely changed. However, I still believe in the potential of young children and their innate ability to progress at the piano with the correct teaching and diligent parent involvement.

This was such a student (and he has such a dedicated mother!). I remember working on him with two hand pieces when he was 4 and 5, working through both traditional piano method books and using the repertoire from the Suzuki piano books.

Now little M has grown up and is a 7th grader! It’s so difficult for me to imagine that so much time has passed since I have not seen him since he was 5. It was a shock to me as a teacher to see a young man walk through the door, and not a little 5 year old! M played several pieces for me: Mendelssohn and Haydn. He was preparing for a concerto competition.  His technique was flawless, and he played though pieces as if he owned the piano–proudly showing me the medal that he had been awarded last year for his playing at a festival. I was proud, of course I was! The best part of the afternoon visit was M’s summary of his past years of studying the piano: “the most important time in learning anything is laying the foundation. Thank you so much for providing a foundation for me to continue my music study!”

Yup…I had tears in my eyes.

Thank you M for visiting!! I hope to see you again soon.