Sunday, February 1, 2009

A Tribute to my Two Special Piano Teachers....

Back in 1961, I had my first piano lesson. I remember how excited i was; I remember flinging the front door open to meet Mrs. Johnson. Little did I realize the impact this wonderful teacher would have on my young life. My first exposure to the joy of the piano was from a neighbor across the street.

These neighbors has an upright piano and I used to listen to a lady who lived their play on her old upright piano Broadway show tunes. Since they were renters at some point they moved and I remember distinctly crying my eyes out thinking music was leaving my life forever. I ironically another set of neighbors were re tiling their basement and offered to give us this beat up old baby grand piano.

My dad sunk a lot of money into fixing this piano up, new hammers, new strings, even new key tops. Unfortunately the piano had a cracked pin block so all that money was spent in vain but the piano lasted a few years and I was on cloud nine. I think lessons back then cost a huge 50 cents. Hard to believe that lessons now cost $35.

My relationship with Mrs. Johnson lasted around eight years. Typical of most teenagers, it was a struggle to keep my interest at the piano and into practicing. i finally wore my mom down around the time when I was 16 years old and she finally relented and called Mrs. Johnson to terminate the lessons. Mrs. Johnson told my mom to tell "Artie" that he should be a piano teacher.

From that point on my life did have a sense of direction. I thank God for Mrs. Johnson and her affirmation that ended up being my profession of thirty years. We often never know the influence we have on others as teachers.

I picked up three adult students at my home church in MD.

When I was 21 I finally started college and thanks for that affirmation at age 16, I had an insatiable drive and desire to teach piano. in fact, I taught piano all four years in college and was able to fund my entire education with a little bit of scholarship money and from my piano students.

I graduated in 1980 with a degree in Music Education from Liberty University, a private school in VA. My teacher was Mr. David Ehrman, who was a graduate of Cincinnati Music Conservatory. Mr. Ehrman was and is an incredible friend, teacher, performer and confidant. Over many years now he has been a dear mentor and helped me on an ongoing basis resolve many teaching issues with students. In addition to being an inspirational teacher and performer, Mr. Ehrman has a hilarious sense of humor which he uses as a lubricant when working his students to the bone.

Today my profession has enabled to help so many students and families and the joy of music is still spreading.

Joy in your journey today! Art Scott

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