One of my favorite things about being a piano teacher is my relationship with my students. I am kind of like a cousin/big sister/ member of the family… and it really is familial. I am there for birthdays, holidays, weddings and all of the life- events. And I’m in a lot of families which makes it really fun.
During the holidays, students who have gone off to college typically visit and take lessons just for the time that they are back. After all it is really hard to see someone every Monday for 12 years and then all of a sudden they are going to college and you don’t see each other anymore. Well it doesn’t usually happen like that with me. My students can’t wait to show me what they’re working on or at least want to say, “hi”.
One of my favorite students that I’ve ever had, Hannah, recently came over. She’s just back from her first semester at Berklee College of Music. It was thrilling for me to see her, not only because I miss and love her, but to watch her play and get an idea of what she’s been working on. I was surprised at the ease she told me that she was practicing 3-4 hours a day because I remember the time I told her she needed to step up her practicing to 1-2 hours and she burst out crying, “No! That’s impossible”. But she was only in 8th grade then and today I could hear a better tone than I’ve ever heard and I could sense maturity in her that I hadn’t seen before… She always just had serious talent.
I didn’t know Hannah just as a student- I had many dinners at her house and attended many of her family's events. So as a result I feel very close to her. Before she left for Berklee we went on a trip to Disneyland, just her and I, because I wanted her to hear my friends Allee and Val, who were playing in an all-girl band at Tomorrowland Terrace. I wanted her to see the possibilities… Last year, Hannah and her family came out to hear me play with Vinx at Genghis Cohen and we all had dinner together- Vinx, the other musicians, Hannah, her family and me. It was an amazing evening and I got to really introduce Hannah to Vinx who happens to be on the Berklee Faculty.
Another one of my wonderful students Justin, a marvelous pianist and composer who became a doctor instead of a musician, always took lessons everyday when he came back on college vacations. Recently he took up residency at the Children’s Hospital in Boston, so we went out for breakfast before he left LA. Midway through the breakfast…out they came ...a set of headphones so I could hear his newest compositions.
Then there’s the weddings….I had a great time at Justin's wedding a few years ago. Recently I went to Sabrina’s wedding- who hadn’t studied with me since she was a little girl. It’s so much fun seeing my students as adults and I especially loved having dinner with Sabrina and her new husband.
The next generation is coming in… I started teaching Randall and his wonderful Mom Adrienne when Randall was 14… Now I am teaching Randall’s nine year old son … and Randall and Adrienne and Pamela, Randall’s sister and soon her son who just turned 5.
I’m always so proud to see my students become successful. What a thrill !!!
My first students in LA were Jane Fonda’s children and Troy Garity has become such a successful actor… Catch him in BALLERS and BARBERSHOP among many others. I love running into him around town.
Then there’s Alice Eve (ENTOURAGE, THE MOVIE) who studied with me as a little girl before moving back to England and beginning her career as an actress.
I had a big surprise seeing my former student Billie Lourd singing on Jimmy Fallon. She was singing with incredible ease and Jimmy Fallon knew that she loved singing. I remember teaching her as a 6th or 7th grader to sing and play my sophisticated jazzy arrangement of SUMMERTME, I was so proud to find out that she had a big role in SCREAM QUEENS and… the new STAR WARS !!!!!!!!!!!!!
Yup… The beat goes on! My little ones keep getting taller, growing up and moving on …and thankfully there are lots of new students that I get to share the joy of life with…