The following short article explains my personal philosophy, purpose and vision for sharing music with children!
I have been asked a few times what motivates someone to teach piano for 35 years? Another thing I sometimes hear is, “You must enjoy teaching the older students more than the 5 and 6 year olds.”
The answer to both of these questions is found in the bigger picture or vision. It is this personal vision that became the catalyst for creating a program which would encourage children and parents to hang in there through the first few years to learn to read music well enough to experience the real goal.
So what is this bigger picture or vision? It can be summed up in one sentence. We all have a deep need to connect and communicate.
When we watch a movie, the script provides the first level of communication. But even the most eloquent words cannot move the heart like a piece of music can. It is always the underlying music in the movie which moves us to the deeper level of communication.
When a parent tells me, “My child has been playing that song all week long. They never seem to tire of playing it!” I know the child is experiencing the joy that comes from the depths of their own soul. They are developing the ability to not only appreciate but to participate in this deeper level of communication as the music flows through their own fingers.
Laying the foundation in someone’s life for this deeper experience of communication makes teaching this instrument a lifetime passion.
Knowing that people will use it to feel the love, joy and beauty that resides in their own heart makes it fun. Knowing that some students will use it to help others experience this level within their souls through public performance makes it worthwhile. Knowing some students will use it to connect with their personal sense of the sacred through worship makes it a noble profession.
Every time a 5 or 6 year old sits on the bench in their first year, I receive as much joy as I do when working with the older students. I have seen so many students with no knowledge of the piano at all and in a few short years they are playing intermediate level music and have a repertoire of personal favorites that have struck a chord within their own hearts. I see where that young child will be in a few years and that is what makes me even more passionate after 35 years than I was in my first 5 years.
EDUCATION & EXPERIENCE
Liberty Bible College, Christian Education
Lafayette School of Music
World Indigenous Missions
American School of Tampico, Tamaulipas, Mexico
World Missions Director, Tree of Life Church
Created and hosted The Family Variety Show, Ypsi., Mi.
Composer: The Music Circle Key Signature Series, Happy Heart Music, Bouquets of Beauty and Big Notes for Small Hands.
It is the reason I invested in a computer lab for the studio, a sight reading library which enables students to take books home, digital pianos which create accompaniments for students, and a reward table with new themes every 2 weeks to keep it fun for kids. It is the reason I created The Music Circle Key Signature series and several other music books.
I believe the private teacher will become even more valuable as we see so many music programs being cut from school budgets.
If you have managed to read this entire article about me I hope you leave the page knowing I am really all about you.
That is the bigger picture and every parent that enrolls their children in The Ivory league Studio partners with me to enable their children to develop this ability to communicate beyond the world of reading and writing.
PIANO BOOKS BY MS. CHERYL
The Music Circle Key Signature Series
Each song is presented in three key signatures. This helps students learn to play with more sharps and flats. They learn the melody and rhythm for the 1st piece and it is easier to add sharps or flats when it is transposed!
Bouquets of Beauty & Happy Heart Music
These 2 books present late elementary through early intermediate music. Just plain fun songs and softer more romantic pieces for reinforcing reading.
Big Notes for Small Hands
A book especially for 4 to 6 year old beginners. Large notes for Right hand only followed by Left hand songs. Accompaniment CD makes the simple tunes come alive for a wonderful introduction to staff reading.
Sight Reading Library
Over 200 books available to take home to build reading skills. The library includes books from all Methods and dozens of the best contemporary composers and arrangers of educational supplemental music. New books added to library each year. CD accompaniments available for students to take home also. There is no charge for this music library. It is part of the value you receive for your monthly tuition.
A delightful introduction to the lives of the great composers. Books and computer software make music history interesting and fun. There is something here for all ages. This feature adds variety and inspiration to your child's program.