Imagine that our sum total of time with our piano students is like a mason jar and that the most essential things we teach are like river rocks which we place in that jar. What would those “big rocks” be for you and me? Do we get sidetracked by the “pebbles” and fill our jars with that instead? What will they take away in their jars when they leave our studios?

I hope that a healthy teacher-student relationship will be a treasured rock in their jars – that my value for each student goes far beyond their performance abilities and that we laugh together as we explore the intricacies of learning to play and to make music.

Here are some other big rocks that I want to be sure that I fit into their jars before the other pebbles take all the space…

The ability to listen for beauty and to replicate it

The ability to appreciate the different flavors and styles of music

The ability to read, to create and to improvise

The ability to effectively self-teach

The ability to evaluate without devaluing

The ability to make music joyfully

The ability to share that joy

For the rest of their lives.

Let us teach our students with the end in mind!