When do you let your child give up on piano lessons?

There are many reasons why a child would think about quitting piano lessons.

One of the reasons should be the difficulty.

One other reason could be the fact that his parents have allowed him to think that quitting is an option. Ever.

I am, myself, a very picky teacher. That’s not the best trait, I know, I should be available to work with ALL sorts of kids, but I’m not. 

I can work with a talented kid who’s a little lazy, but I won’t work with him/her if he/she’s rude. I’ve got 60 minutes and I just won’t spend them educating him/her.

I can work with an intelligent kid who isn’t that talented, but I won’t work with him/her if they’ve got disciplinary issues.

I will work with a slow learner or with the hyper active one, just as long as they keep a good attitude towards the piano class and me. 

So if the piano teacher doesn’t seem any close to quitting on your child, it means he can still learn, he can still grow and you shouldn’t encourage his lazy behind.

If indeed your lifestyle, schedule, financial situation, doesn’t help the growth in that direction and you’re considering investing and focusing in some other activity, make sure the message you send out to your child is not that it’s alright to quit something because it’s hard.

I may not possess the writing skills to express exactly the philosophy of it, but life is hard all around. Math is hard, history is hard, being bullied is hard, society is hard, there are no easy passes.

At one point the child must learn to find solutions for difficulties and power through, persevere, fight, try his best and own his victories. That’s what success is made of. That’s what happiness is made of.



Happy Teachers' Day!

What’s the correct ratio: 70% the teacher – 30% the parent? Or is it 50-50?

What’s the ratio you practice or would practice?

I’m having a dilemma.

Parents don’t want you to be harsh on their kids, you know, you gotta be fun, entertain, keep them interested, keep it light, WHILE also implementing discipline. I know it’s doable, but I don’t think it works on small children. If you break out THE FUN, they take your whole hand.

There’s a magical kind of balance that parents expect from teachers sometimes and they prefer not to interfere with that magic. They let you do all the work.

Be fun and convince the kid to practice for each piano lesson. I know so many great pianists and music teachers in general. They all hated to practice. And at that time they were probably all better than I was, they were more disciplined and practiced more, and still hated it…while having almost 10 music subjects a week in school.

How to convince a kid to practice the piano? A kid you see 1 hour a week.

Should I start a “practice app” and send parents texts reminding them to remind the kid to practice? Ding-ding-ding! PIANO!

All jokes aside, piano being optional for so many today, few parents are actually committed to make piano an important subject, it’s hard to request such commitment from a kid without being even a little afraid he’ll want to quit as soon as things get rough.

And things always get rough. If you’re not backed up by a parent’s authority, you’ve got nothing!




When I think of MEDITATION I think of FOCUS. For me, meditating isn’t as much about not thinking about anything as it is about focusing on one thing only.

Piano practice is a sort of meditation. I didn’t realise it until now. When we practice we can’t think about other problems, we can’t get distracted very easily, because the practice requires the brain’s attention so much, it is all we can do. So in a way we should encourage piano practice as a way of releasing the brain from other worries and have it meditate on songs.

Lately I realised that even teaching is a little bit like meditation. Of course, I am not completely myself when I’m teaching, I have to act a little and bring excitement where there is none, but the activity is so overwhelming, I can’t think of anything else while teaching. The moment I leave my classes I notice my brain getting back to it’s usual activity: who was I supposed to call today? what will I cook for dinner? what should I buy as a present? oh, no, I was supposed to pay the bills today! laundry.

That’s why I consider work is good. Keeping the mind busy with anything besides worries and, let’s be honest, even gossip🙂, is just good for us.

This also should be taught in school. Or in piano classes.

Meet & Greet – September Edition

Looking for a Meet&Greet this weekend! Check out Niki’s Thoughts. That’s the place to be!

A Texan's View of Upstate New York

Meet and Greet

The day is here! So here are a few rules/tips to get the most out of the Meet & Greet this weekend:

  • Leave a link to your blog, or a specific post.  Write a little something explaining what your blog tends to be about.
  • If you have a link of someone else’s blog or post, feel free to share that in the comment as well.
  • And share this post! Re-blog, tweet, pin, whatever you feel like doing! The more visitors there are, the more participation there will be, and the more exposure there is to all of these great bloggers.
  • And last, but not least, check out these great posts from fellow bloggers!

  1. Fall Folly

  2. Blended Family Life At It’s Finest: Originally Posted on The Next Family

  3. 10 Things I Miss About Living in Thailand

  4. 9/11

  5. If We Were Having Coffee // A Somber Sunday

  6. 5 Successful People Who Struggled in Their Twenties Too

  7. Things…

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No one ever taught me about the importance/influence/power of thoughts. No one ever instructed me on how to use it, but I’ve been doing it since I was little to create for myself a world where everything I want is possible and it’s brought to life…in my dreams.

It took a lot of “coincidences” for me to realise that they were more than coincidences, they were actually my dreams coming true.

It has nothing to do with weird beliefs, it’s just something I noticed. I am actually very spiritual and I will credit all of this to God and the way He created us. We are the only creatures on Earth to use words as a speech. Just like He does. And just like He created everything. He said it and it came to life. And we have the same gift. So powerful! If we could just manage our speech and our thoughts…

So last week one of my students tries to explain to me all the reasons why she didn’t exercise for her piano class. Same reasons as all my students have, same reasons every week…I gotta say, they always blame it on their parents and their schedule.🙂

So anyway, she says: “But I did think about the song a lot before I went to bed and I played it in my head, and now it seems as if I exercised it…it feels so easy to play it.” I know for a fact she’s telling the truth, that happens to me a lot, I was just so excited that she got there on her own.

There’s got to be some type of mechanism behind this. Somewhere in your thoughts God gets the opportunity to plant a seed of your future and you get to water it until it bears fruits. Just like everything else.

They should teach this in school. Or in piano classes.


I am uplifted.

This year was the year of challenges, the year of changes, the year of boldness and the year of returning to myself…if that makes any sense.

I felt challenged to make the difficult decision to quit my job. Felt even more challenged when I realised things didn’t go as expected and had to rethink my future and I took on the most challenging decision yet. To dream bigger than ever before.

The mind is a wonderful thing. Either that or God just wants to fulfil my every wish as quick as possible.

As soon as I decided to follow my dream, everything fell into place. And things are turning out even better than I had planned on paper. I wish I could explain the physics of this process better.

So to all of you out there, who are still waiting for a nudge to make the jump, to take the step and give up on the fear of the unknown, who constantly imagine life differently than it is, who wait passively to be thrown into their dreams: just do it already!338db52e0e66a2b8dc95238797ad5669

You will most definitely traverse the entire process:

  • the blank page: NOW WHAT?
  • the enjoy the present moment
  • the I can’t believe I didn’t do this sooner. This is where I’m supposed to be.
  • the plot twist: “That’s not how I imagined things would go“. It’s fine. You’ll still make it, but on a different road.
  • the fear – bits and pieces of the fear you let go when you jump are going to hunt you. Resist. It’s just a human emotion, not a reflection of what’s to come.
  • the confirmation – once in a while, even if you can’t see your destination yet, you’ll look back and think exactly what Joyce says: I’m not where I should be, but thank God I’m not where I used to be.
  • the plan – at this point you’ll get inspired, you’ve imagined all the possible and impossible scenarios. And the best scenarios, even if they seem impossible, they are so attractive and your heart is so drawn to them, you can’t live without trying them out.
  • the happening – sweet honey for your soul, you will see it all come into place.

Be encouraged, my friends!

My Best Memories

When Christmas. My mom would cook so much, our small apartment was filled with yummy smells of my favourite meals. I’d sit at the open window between the steaming kitchen and the frozen wind looking at the dark pink sky. It was pink. It was snowing and it was pink. I had my little phone toy and I’d talk to Santa on it. So today anything from coffee to mulled wine to garlic to cold air takes me to Christmas.

We used to live across the street from the busiest hill in wintertime. I miss that view. As we were approaching the big snow covered hill, we would DIE in anticipation that we were gonna slide and scream like all the other 50 kids on it. It was soooo good. I miss sleighs. Do you remember the sound it makes when it slides on the snow? We would stay on the hill even after it got dark and we were so hooked that we would eat snow when we were thirsty just so we didn’t have to leave all the fun for a sip of water. I would get home all sweaty from running up and down, but also frozen, couldn’t feel my toes. I’d hop my butt on the radiator and stick my feet in cold water and I just melted. THE BEST!

Later on we discovered carolling. Put together 2 to 10 kids from the music school and send them carolling and you’ve got yourself a party. Musicians are just the best crowd to be around.

If there are any other Christmas freaks out there, I’d love to hear your memories.

P.S. I am humming 12 Days of Christmas as I’m writing this…

Me & My Dreams

Music Teacher Lifestyle

I was inspired to reminisce on my autumns by Niki’s article. It all came back to me as I was reading it.

Autumns feel different as you grow up.

I have such fond memories about autumn. Autumn meant going to school and I loved school. In fact, I loved school so much I would often find myself dreaming of how it would be to remain a student my whole life. I’m there, alright…living the dream.

We couldn’t afford buying stuff, most of my clothes were from charities, but buying school supplies was a must, so I was so excited to make a list, to go shopping and to label all my notebooks.

School was a safe place for me. I couldn’t do much about my situation at home, but school was my territory. I could be anything I wanted to be.

I had to walk to school, about 30 minutes, the sound of the fallen leaves is so vivid in my mind and the smell of the rain…just me and my dreams walking to school.

When I went to college I was faced with having to cook. I am such a good cook. I didn’t know that then, I was just experimenting, but when I started to cook I would put on jazz and it all felt so glamorous, even though I was just as poor. The food was good, the company was great…happy days.

Autumns are different though when you’re the teacher. Now I have to make the autumns memorable for my students.

So my autumn means new resources and new projects to get the kids excited, planning the Christmas Recital, crafting all sorts of presents, apple pie, mulled wine and quattro formaggi based meals and, I’m afraid, even more jazz.


Ode to a Music Teacher

This is an evaluation image and is Copyright Chud Tsankov. Do not publish without acquiring a license. Image number: 0521-1005-1515-0758. http://www.acclaimimages.com/_gallery/_pages/0521-1005-1515-0758.html

Music teachers are very important in our school. The music department has to be the glue that holds everything together, the soul of our community and the heart of every event. You are very important and we’ll make sure that you feel appreciated every step of the way.

Of course, we don’t have a music room “per say”, we don’t really have a piano or any instruments for that matter.

The manuals are pretty far from the culture we want to impart in this school, so you’ll probably have to improvise a lot, find a new repertoire, make your own work sheets, find innovative ways to make it work and if it could be all spectacular…that would be just great!

Also we’d love it if you could cover the national curriculum as professional as you can, we want to pride ourselves with how serious music and arts are in this school, but if you could also insert international elements and concepts, devote all your free time to find new and fun ways to teach it…again…so great!

But still, keep in mind that this is not a specialised school, we can’t expect kids to be fully committed to the music classes, so if you could just BE COOL and give them all the highest grade regardless…you know…in the end how much does music really matter?

Yes, you’ll have to work a lot more than any other teacher, who can actually use their manual and more than half of the work is already done, and of course, you won’t be as important as the math teacher…well, for obvious reasons. You might even have to have a surgery on your vocal chords soon…you know…with all the singing. 

We have a tight budget for the music department, we can’t really make it worth your while, but other than that, this is such a great environment to work in and to grow as a teacher. We can’t wait!