My path with piano

I can almost clearly remember walking into that showroom 7 years ago. My family and I were at a warehouse type store picking out my first piano. It was a weighted electric Kawai with wood finish and one of the main reasons we bought it was because it was the same one used by the music students at York University. When I think about my path with piano leading from there, what stands out is my experience with instruction within private lessons. My first piano teacher was named Darya, and she was from Scotland. She would come to my house and teach me up in my parents’ bedroom where the piano lived. She brought with her the “Leila Fletcher” series and those were the books I first learnt to play with. Unfortunately Darya’s father suddenly passed away and she had to return to Scotland so I had to find a new teacher. Luckily there was one in the area named Mrs. Findlay who was teaching kids that went to my school. I quickly signed on with her and she got me started with the Alfred beginner books and established me with a solid base for the Royal Conservatory material. Within a year I began grade 1. With the commencement of the well structured Conservatory program my love of piano flourished. I began playing enjoyable but challenging material and I loved to play. In grade 2, I took my first exam which I passed with first class honours. I continued on to grade 3 with Mrs. Findlay but by the end of that year I had changed my mind on my direction in piano. I was growing tired of the classical material and I wanted to try something new. So I once again switched teachers and my new teacher was named Peter Nunn. I began playing pop, rock, jazz, and movie music or really anything I wanted. I bought a 366 page book of the Beatles Best tunes arranged for piano, and I played my favourites out of that book.  Although I really enjoyed this type of playing, after about a year of it I was ready to go back to the Conservatory material and I signed on with Footprints to begin grade 4. My teacher at the time was named Jean and she was very helpful and cheerful. At the end of the year I passed grade 4 with first class honours. Unfortunately at the start of the next year Jean had to leave to go play French horn in a military marching band, I also played French horn and she encouraged me to keep with it. After her departure I once again found myself soon to get a new teacher. Kasia, my current teacher here at footprints is definitely one of the best I’ve had over the course of my instruction. She’s so great to talk to and it feels like she really understands my situation on so many different levels especially in music. She’s great at teaching the feeling in every song and knows how to best help me understand it. Last year she helped me get yet another first class honours for grade 5 and we are currently working on my grade 6 material. It’s been a long journey since my early days over 7 years ago but I haven’t felt as secure about my path with piano as I am now.

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