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#13515 - 02/11/05 11:07 AM Let's get to know each other....
xstitch4me Offline
Star Member

Registered: 08/15/04
Posts: 2167
Loc: Idaho
Well, I've been on this site for awhile and I love it! I love all the teaching tips we get along with sharing the experiences. I think it's about time we got to know each other so for those of you who feel the same, let's share.

Aside from being a piano teacher, I'm 42 yrs old and the mother of 3 boys (19, 16, 12). I also have another little boy - 2 1/2 year old Shih-Tzu named Toby. I love to do counted cross stitch. I have done TONS of it and I like comlicated pieces that take awhile to complete. Would love to sell them but they are like parts of me....sounds silly I know.

I play for an elementary school choir. This is our 4th year and we have three programs that we now alternate between. This year's program is Patriotic. It's great fun!

I was a secretary for 16 years (along with teaching) and now thankfully have left that behind. I love to read....almost anything and I love most kinds of music. Surprisingly, I even like most of my 16 year old's music.

I love pizza and diet Dr. Pepper. I was walking 6 miles three times a week until I just lost my walking buddy so now I'll probably gain 50 pounds and go on Prozac \:\(

Anyhow it's now all of your turns......

#13516 - 02/11/05 01:16 PM Re: Let's get to know each other....
shannonspiano Offline
Mainstay Member

Registered: 07/01/04
Posts: 694
Loc: WI
This is a great way to get to know people.
I'm a full time piano teacher- I currently have 27 students 4 days a week, at one point I was teaching 42 students 4 days a week.
I've been teaching for 4 years.. since graduating college.
My Husband and I are expecting our first child in August.
I play once a month for church.. no more right now.
I enjoy swimming 3 days a week, usually about a mile.
When the pool is closed I'll walk 30 mins.. mostly uphill.
I'm allergic to soo many foods, that I eat really healthy.. no sodas here.
We have been really involved in community theatre, but for the rest of this season and all of next season there's nothing we want to be involved in. Usaully it's painting, set building and hanging up posters.. Grunt work
I became a NCTM in December, and am working to keep that up.
I'm co-chair of our local mta competition(next week). Doing the computer work and documenting, and getting sick of other piano teachers who can't think for themselves. Including the other co-chair and the previous chair.

Well that's me.. Can't wait to hear about the rest of you..

#13517 - 02/11/05 02:23 PM Re: Let's get to know each other....
PFVTeach Offline
Resident Member

Registered: 09/17/04
Posts: 481
Loc: USA

#13518 - 02/11/05 03:23 PM Re: Let's get to know each other....
Gail Offline
Resident Member

Registered: 09/04/04
Posts: 369
Loc: Alpharetta, GA
Alright, I feel really old compared to you youngsters!!! I am somewhere between 40 and 50 (and at this point, closer to 50!), married for 20 years, with three children--18, 15 and 13. My 18-year-old will graduate from high school this year, and scored a 1600 on his SAT!! He is still looking at colleges--hasn't decided yet! My daughter is 15, loves horses and just spent 18 months raising a Canine Companion dog. I have another son who's 13--an awesome baseball player--I only wish he were as dedicated a student! \:\( We also have a precious Sheltie, 2 cats and a couple of goldfish that have lived forever!

I studied music and art in college, graduated with a B.A., worked in sales for 10 years (in the meantime earning my M.B.A.), then stopped to raise a family. When I needed to go back to work about 7 years ago, I knew I didn't want to go back into sales, and looked at what I did with my spare time--what I loved to do WITHOUT pay--and came up with two things--kids and music. I decided then to go to work as an assistant at my children's school and use my musical training to teach piano. After a couple of years, I had the opportunity to work on a master's in education, and jumped at it--so for three years, I worked full-time as a teacher (provisional certification), taught as many as 15 piano students, attended classes and studied on the weekends. and raised three children. I finally got my M. Ed. in December 2003. Right now I work with second graders with learning disabilities.

I grew up playing the piano--my mom was my piano teacher for 12 years and pushed me hard, but I have benefited tremendously from her amazing expertise--she's one of the finest pianists and arrangers I have ever heard--and she's 76 now!! I have 19 students this year--up from 10 last year--and am enjoying teaching piano more than ever--especially since I get so much inspiration and motivation from all the teachers here!!

In my spare time (ha, ha!), I love to read--just finished "Reading Lolita in Tehran" and have started "The Kite Runner", and someone just gave me a copy of Patricia Cornwell's "Trace", so I can't wait to dive into that, listen to music and spend time with my kids enjoying their activities.

Now that you know more about me that you EVER wanted to \:D , let's hear from someone else!

#13519 - 02/11/05 03:49 PM Re: Let's get to know each other....
clarinetlady Offline
Resident Member

Registered: 09/30/04
Posts: 177
Loc: Toronto,ON
Me...besides teaching piano, also clarinet. (which is really my major instrument) Teaching 15 students as of next week. (mostly clarinet students, only 4 are piano). I am not taking more any new students. Have a professional piano/clarinet ensemble, which rehearses almost every day. Besides music, love cats and The Simpsons.


#13520 - 02/11/05 04:11 PM Re: Let's get to know each other....
Amily Offline
Mainstay Member

Registered: 03/26/01
Posts: 547
You want nutshell or auto-biography? I'm not very good at nutshell.

The Kansas air was humid yet refreshing on that September evening when I came into this world. After a relatively short labor, my mother had her first daughter - though she was perfectly happy with her two boys, as she has reminded me during several of my less endearing moments in life.

No, no. Only kidding.

I'm 25. I'm a Jayhawk and a natural born Kansan. After 8 years of college, I have finally made it to my last semester. I am currently at KU Med Center in Kansas City, but no I'm not a doctor. I hate blood. I am actually three months away from being an official Graduate Intern Architect. After graduation I still have to complete three years of training (out of the eight required) before I can take the licensing exams.

This semester I am working with the architecture/engineering firm HNTB (their world headquarters are a five minute drive from my studio), Cordish, and the Kansas City Design Center on two separate projects in Kansas City. The KCDC project is a small project, but the other is a huge downtown renovation project (H&R Block world headquarters, the Kansas City Live District and Sprint Arena). Because this project is so official (we're presenting to the mayor in a couple months), all of what little free time I had to begin with is now gone. I sit at my computer day in and day out, and I make frequent visits to for a nice change of pace before diving back into my work again (which is where I will be headed as soon as I post this.)

How does piano fit into my life, you say? I started taking piano lessons when I was 8 years old. I hated every minute of it. Except for the summer my teacher gave me this fun little book called "Color Me Pops". Wow, what a summer. After that I hated piano again until I was about 15, when I matured enough to appreciate what I had learned. When I was 16 a friend of the family came to me in tears about the situation her daughters were in. They were young, about 8 and 9 years old, and had already been through several different teachers over the course of about 4 years. Neither of them were playing very well, and the mom was distraught. She said she was pulling them out of lessons, but decided to give it one more try with me, if I was willing to teach them. As a 16 year old with no money, I thought, "What the heck?!" and I have been teaching ever since. I currently have 20 students, and I intend to keep as many of them as possible after I graduate. Gotta pay off those college loans somehow. That and I'd like to buy a nice piano. Someday I hope to get back into lessons again for myself. Maybe Lisa can teach me. \:D

Other little tidbits about me:

I am a classical liberal (libertarian).
I am a Christian.
I have brown hair.
My favorite movie is Jeux d'Enfants (Love Me if You Dare).
I hate the Wizard of Oz (or rather people's inability to separate past fantasy with present reality).
My favorite book is Emphyrio by Jack Vance.
I'm addicted to coke.
The caffeinated kind.
I am also addicted to 24.
I want to marry Jack Bauer.
But not if it means terrorists are going to kill me.
I hate doing laundry.
My dog thinks he's Lassie and I'm his Timmy.
I talk too much.
I'm not married and I don't have kids, but my two year old nephew means the world to me.

I told you I was bad at nutshell.
Back to work.

#13521 - 02/11/05 04:57 PM Re: Let's get to know each other....
Syndi Offline
Resident Member

Registered: 04/20/04
Posts: 134
Loc: Louisville, Ky
Along with Gail I'm really close to the Big 50. I'm beginning to think that it's OK though because I'm now getting involved with a group of Red Hat Society ladies! This might be fun after all!!
I'm married to a wonderful man that supports almost everything that I do. I have two wonderful children. My son, age 23, just got out of the army and he and his wife are living with us for awhile until they get on their feet.
My daughter is 21 years old and has been married for a little over a year.
I have about 35 students in my studio and I have been teaching since Jan. 1980! I can't imagine doing anything else!
I play for several school choirs in the county and I also fill in at our church when I'm needed. In the spring, I play with several children from local schools at Solo & Ensemble festivals. I have also been asked to be an adjudicator twice at local festivals.
Feb. 18, 1999 I was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Each year I've been tested and each year the tests have come back clear!! I will find out next week how I did with the test I took last month! This will be "6 years" free and clear!!!
Life is good.

#13522 - 02/11/05 05:20 PM Re: Let's get to know each other....
Carole Offline
Star Member

Registered: 06/08/00
Posts: 2229
Loc: southern California
Well, I am just on the other side of 50 and it isn't bad at all (quite painless, actually). I did not turn into a little blue haired old lady-my hair is actually almost as dark as it was 20 years ago and I FEEL young. Been teaching piano about 15 years. Started out teaching school, then had my two sons and stayed home, began teaching piano when the youngest was about 6. I've been married for 31 years to a nuclear engineer and our oldest son (24) is a police officer, youngest (21) in college. I have played piano and/or organ for church since college. Have made 3 major moves since beoming a Mrs. from Texas to South Carolina to Southern California. Can you say "culture shock"? I have discovered that no matter where you live, there are always good people. And I have also discovered the same thing about people on the internet-esp. at \:\) Thanks for all the great ideas! And Syndi, I hope you continue to have good health! Oh yes-and I am addicted to All My Children!

#13523 - 02/11/05 08:14 PM Re: Let's get to know each other....
Arlene Steffen Offline
Star Member

Registered: 06/20/00
Posts: 2972
Loc: Fresno, CA USA
I'm 41 and married to a fabulous man who makes a living as a university magazine editor. We have two boys, 8 and 10 and we love them and how different they are from each other. My mother now lives with us (she's 79) and my mother-in-law lives close by. We have a 6 year old Australian shepherd and a 5 year old orange cat.

I started teaching at 19 in a piano teacher training program as part of my undergraduate degree at Goshen College in Indiana. I also completed my BA in music ed with an emphasis in choral music. I finished an MM from Wichita State in piano and have taught both privately and at 5 different colleges and universities. I currently have 12 university students, 13 private students at home and direct the university women's choir. I also teach courses in piano pedagogy and piano proficiency and do a modest amount of accompanying.

I have a direct sales business for kitchen products which pays for my lovely Steinway L and I am involved with music at our church. I love to cook and bake and occasionally sew or do cross stitch. I also play the guitar and have played percussion in college orchestras and sung in many a choir.

I enjoy novels, particularly the Mitford series by Jan Karon and the Harry Potter books. I'm really not your traditional academic -- research bores me to tears, but I do love learning and teaching.

One of my students is currently on a round of auditions for grad school (just played his first at New England Conservatory) and is scheduled for others at Julliard, Eastman, Manhattan and San Francisco. Possibly U of M, too. If he is accepted into any of these programs, I will be crowing quite loudly! \:D Of course, if he doesn't make it . . . let's not think about that!

Most of my students are just your regular garden variety, but I really love them and enjoy seeing them progress and loving music (even if they don't love practicing). They are great people.

#13524 - 02/12/05 03:00 AM Re: Let's get to know each other....
pianoannie Offline
Mainstay Member

Registered: 07/20/01
Posts: 946
Loc: midwest USA
What a fun thread!

I have lived in Indiana all my life, but I love travelling and wish I could afford to do more! I'm 44, been married to "the best husband in the whole world" for 21 years (got married on New Years Eve), and we have 3 wonderful boys 18, 16, and 13 (Gail--our families are quite similar! Including our 18 year olds and SAT's). We really wanted to have a larger family, but my husband's serious health problems in his early-30's changed that.

My degree is in medical science, and I worked for 10 years in hospital laboratories. In college I took every music class I could fit into my schedule, and I was torn between following my passion (piano) or getting a "practical, marketable" degree. Practicality won out, but honestly it's nice to know I could re-enter my previous field, complete with benefits and better salary, if I ever need to.(when my husband was in a coma on life support, and I was told he would never come out of it, it was scary to think of supporting 3 children myself!)

I began teaching my own children piano many years ago. Soon neighbors began asking for lessons, so I began mentoring with an excellent teacher. Within a couple years, I had about 25 students, which is just about right for me. I've been teaching 10 years. I'm a moderator on another piano teacher site, and I review piano materials (books and software) for that site (Piano Education Page).

Like Arlene, I enjoyed the Mitford series; I also like John Grisham and anything about teaching piano!

My musical past includes directing church choirs, directing children's musicals, preschool music director, school choir accompanist, and church pianist. I now teach piano and guitar, continue in piano lessons myself, and I'm teaching myself jazz. I'd like to say I also play flute and harp, but my husband says it's more correct to say I "own" a flute and harp! (He's right--I'm not very good!)

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