About two years ago, 6 year old Hanna came into my home studio for her first piano lesson. She had an ear to ear grin on her from the moment I opened the door. Our first lesson consisted of the absolute basics and Hanna was open to trying anything I suggested. She was a little shy but we have built up a great student-teacher relationship and our lessons have always been fun and not short of a laugh or two!
Fast forward two years to today and Hanna (now 8) is no longer a beginner pianist. She has performed for small and large audiences more than 5 times and loves it! She is playing technically difficult pieces and learning about all styles of music. We both look forward to her weekly piano lesson and recently, we had a little interview to reflect on what Hanna remembers about starting to learn piano and how it impacts her time now. I hope you enjoy!
What do you love the most about piano?
I love that through my lessons I am now able to teach myself how to play the notes and tunes for songs that I like. These might be songs on the radio or songs from movies.
Can you remember your first piano lesson?
I was in prep, I was 6 years old, and I loved it! I remember that you introduced yourself to me and we played games.
What is your favourite song?
My favourite song to play on the piano at the moment is Do-Re-Mi from the Sound of Music. I also really like to play "In the Eye of a Tiger" which I have just learnt.
Other songs I like to sing along to are "When I'm Gone" from the movie Pitch Perfect, Titanium
by David Guetta and Sia, and "Miracle" from the musical Matilda.
How much practice do you do?
I practice piano when I can....When I practice I play for about 15 minutes. I usually practice five times a week, Monday nights after gymnastics, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday and Sunday.
Besides piano, what are you other favourite things to do?
Singing and dancing at home......Gymnastics and swimming lessons.
What is your favourite colour?
Hanna's parent (Rachel and David) also answered a few questions for us! As a teacher, I believe the recipe for success in learning any musical instrument is the support of family!
Why did you enrol Hanna into piano lessons?
When Hanna was very young we bought her a battery operated children's keyboard with a built in microphone. She absolutely loved it and seemed to have a natural talent and interest in playing music. Neither David or I learnt piano but managed to teach Hanna some very simple tunes and she picked them up really quickly. The first tune we taught her was "Ode to Joy" (playing one finger notes at a time). We wanted Hanna to learn piano to develop this skill she possessed. I searched online for a piano teacher in our local area and when I saw Mell's photo online I thought she looked lovely so I gave her a call and arranged for Hanna to start lessons with her.
What has been your favourite moment during this experience of being piano parents?
We both agree our favourite moment so far is when Hanna plays the piano for our family and friends who come to our house. They are all amazed at how beautifully she plays, and how confident she is when she plays the piano for them. We are very proud of her, and also jealous we can't do what she can....
Has music had an impact on Hanna?
Yes it has. She was once a shy girl, now she is very confident, especially as she knows she can play the piano better than anyone else in our families. She gets real enjoyment in playing new songs she is learning, and she entertains our whole family.
What would you say to other parents thinking about starting their young child in music lessons?
We love that our daughter is learning a musical instrument. When she plays she brings our family together and we smile in awe at the music she can produce. Her brother, in particular, is very impressed with her skill. We are a busy family and Hanna does not have the time to practice piano every day, however when she does we make sure that either myself or her dad sit down with her to listen to her practice and give her support and encouragement. Music in our home is a wonderful attraction and is provided to us by our young and talented daughter, we are very pleased Hanna has been learning the piano for the past 2 years, and are amazed at her progress.
Thank you Hanna, Rachel and David! I am looking forward to hearing Hanna's version of Do-Re-Mi at our November 26 'Evening with the Stars' concert!