You may have read my recent posts on both my artist Facebook page and the Facebook page for my course Piano Skills for Singers. If you missed it, here it is…
As I’m sure you’re all aware, I have been extremely active as a private studio teacher here in NYC. I have been very privileged to have taught over 15 years, and have served hundreds of students one-on-one. It has been an absolute joy and has consumed most of my time.
Effective immediately I have decided to take a mini sabbatical from private teaching. (If you are a current private student, this doesn’t affect you!). I will still be maintaining a small number of private students, but I am reducing the number by about 70%.
Shebang! I’m calling it my “mini sabbatical” from teaching, which means I’ll be dramatically reducing my teaching load for at least the next year. After 15 years of teaching, I’m finally going to make space in my life to pursue a variety of dreams and goals that have been on the backburner for quite some time.
I have a great passion for teaching and my students have always shown me that they love working with me. I have worked with students of all ages and levels, from absolute beginners to very high level professionals. I have taught piano, voice, musicianship, theory, songwriting and have coached people and produced projects. I have worked with classical pianists, Broadway performers, aspiring songwriters and musical hobbyists who just want to sing and play the music they love. It has been an exhilarating and sometimes exhausting ride.
Teaching has made it possible for me to provide for my family. Unlike performing, teaching has allowed me to stay home and be available for my young son. Since I teach from home, I have been able to drop him of at school, teach all day and then pick him up. My family has been able to catch up with our financial plan as a result of my (and my husband’s) income.
The challenging part of teaching is the constant information and emotional output. Listening to people singing and playing the piano all day can be very exhausting, especially when it’s your job to listen on a deep level to provide support and correction. It is hard work to motivate people, to inspire them and to encourage them. It can be emotionally draining when people are struggling, when they are frustrated or in a rut. I give a lot to my students.
Ever since my trip to Australia this past January, I have felt a shift in my mindset. All those concerts I played to attentive audiences made me feel more alive and invigorated than I have in a long time. My music came to life for me again. I was reminded of my gifts and the years of work and training I have that make me a unique voice. I have been dreaming in music again and it has been wonderful.
Adult life has taught me that it is impossible to excel if you are spread too thin. Teaching 25+ hours a week, plus my family life was making it impossible for me to make any significant improvement in my playing. I would squeeze in an hour or two here or there, but I could never get out of “maintenance mode.”
Since my college teaching semester was coming to a close, and several of my private students were getting ready to graduate and/or move away, I decided it was the perfect time to make a move. So, with the incredible support of my family, I decided to go for it. I made the announcement on Monday and the support of my friends and colleagues has been incredible.
I will still be looking forward to teaching every week, but on a much smaller scale. With this new found time, I am working hard to develop myself as a musician, to book more performances and tours and develop more course work for Piano Skills for Singers. I can’t wait to share my progress with you!