appreciation, artist, community, good, goodness, gratitude, music, piano, piano teacher, teacher, togetherness, transformation

The Piano Teacher that Changed My Life

2018July4MsCarterSMALL
Lily Chang © 2018

Her name is Ms. Carter.

That’s the name I was told to call her, when I was five. And that’s what I’ve called her ever since.

If you’ve been following my blog posts, you might remember me talking about taking piano lessons early on in life, such as in Beyond Competing and Winning.

She’s not just any piano teacher.

Ms. Carter changed my life.

Lily Chang © 2018

When I first went to her house, my five year old mind couldn’t wrap itself around this huge, gorgeous place. I had never seen or set foot inside a home like that before.

2018June26EntranceToMsCartersHouseSMALL
Lily Chang © 2018

This was the entrance hall I walked into, after entering the front door, which can’t be seen here but is on the left.

Through the doors  up ahead, my sister and I would wait our turns. And behind me, where I stood to take this shot, is the piano lessons room.

Lily Chang © 2018

This exquisite room is where lessons happened. I didn’t know what to expect of my new teacher. I wondered whether she’d be as intimidating as the house was.

She asked me to play some scales or whatever I could play.

And, so I did.

I don’t remember much, other than doing as she asked.

But, her memory extends much further. Even to this day, she proclaims I “played all the scales and all that.”

I took piano lessons with her all the way through the end of high school.

2018June26MsCarterAndMeSMALL
Lily Chang © 2018

This lady changed my life. She not only taught me the technique, theory, history, and skills necessary for studying and playing piano, but she gave me the tools for expressing my emotions in a safe and liberating way through music.

Lily Chang © 2018

And, her expressing passion through music, bringing out beauty, and appreciating life haven’t changed at 93. It’s still as strong as ever.

I am honored and pleased to have her in my life.

3 thoughts on “The Piano Teacher that Changed My Life”

  1. It’s a rare thing to maintain a long, committed relationship with a teacher or mentor these days. (“Hey, learn psychology in our eight-week, online course! Right?) But we are taught best by those who truly know us and work with us personally. You had the blessing of growing up in your art with Ms. Carter, and had the chance to reconnect with her at this point in your life to let her know she’d made a real, lasting difference in your life. Much more than teaching the mere mechanics of playing a piano or reading sheet music, she taught how to express your truest self through an art form. She gave you a gift no one can take from you. And it is a gift you’ve been able to give away as well. People who play an instrument, sing, draw, paint, dance or perform any art form from their truest heart inevitably plant something in the hearer’s/seerer’s heart that the artist’s art touches, something remarkable and memorable that cannot be stolen or erased by other life experience or the passage of time. You are enriched and you enrich others. It is the essence of community — one of the heart subjects you have been writing about. So glad you were able to reconnect with Ms. Carter.

    Liked by 1 person

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