Saturday, September 26, 2020

No Doubt.

Yesterday, I had the great fortune of meeting Serena.

Formerly a law office assistant, she became a businesswoman, picking up car sharing passengers to supplement her income. 

She immediately asked me if I taught piano, and before I could even say, "Oui" she gave me her story.

Born and raised in France, she took lessons in school, but they were group courses with many people in a room and not much individual attention. In fact, one teacher straight-up tried to discourage her from playing.

Serena's desire to learn never ebbed. If anything, it grew over the years, through raising her children, changing careers, moving to a new country, learning a new language and on and on.

After much turmoil and great challenges, she decided a few days ago that she was going to take charge of her life and live it the way she imagined. She decided to take the reins of her life.

One of the things she wanted to do was play the piano. She decided she was going to do it, and she would find the best teacher for her life.

I'm not accurately conveying the passion with which she said this, but trust me, she was quite clear on playing the piano, okurrr?

And then I appeared. (What you want wants you. Isn't it wonderful to experience that firsthand?)

The ride was exciting and interesting and we both found ourselves speaking rapidly and with enthusiasm.

I could tell throughout it all that she was searching to determine if this stranger in the back seat of her car was actually the real deal. And I admit, it is tempting in that moment to try to figure out what to say to convince someone of that. 

Instead, I surrendered to the moment and told her the truth.

I told her that I was shocked that a teacher would not support her in that endeavor. The ability to create vibrations that are pleasing to others and to yourself is a skill anyone can develop with care and joy.

There will be times when she'll get discouraged when learning how to play the piano. That's a natural part of it because your mind wants to be able to get there, but your physical skills and theoretical understanding haven't caught up yet. So there has to be one person in your life who will be rock solid in holding the lantern through those mental caverns as you navigate through that. That's my job.

And I have to enter that job with 100% knowing in my bones that no matter what obstacles you think you have that will prevent you from learning, I can help you overcome them, work around them or, even better, incorporate them in your learning. I have to be that sure. Any doubt, even a smidgeon, is too much.

We arrived at my destination, and that was it. I didn't even have cards on me to give to her (a rarity) because I was at my very empty new house, so we exchanged numbers.

When I settled down for the evening, I realized it doesn't matter if she calls. What matters is that she now knows she can do it, and there are piano instructors who will do what it takes for her to achieve her dream.

That's what everyone wants. 

We teach this.

Tina L, multiple award winning teacher, producer, and composer, is the founder of The Piano Instructor. Her curriculum, Musical Kinetics, teaches teachers how to create musicians for life. It is field tested by teachers, written by a teacher, and perfected as students respond and science provides more information. It is available here.

Friday, September 25, 2020

Views. Then the andante.

 This is my view, right now. Isn't it magnificent?

I am sitting inside the new global headquarters of The Piano Instructor, looking out my front window.

Renovations are underway.

Today, though, there is a break in the action. No workers, no inspectors, no engineers. All of that resumes on Monday.

So, I am sitting here, listening.

Mitsuko Uchida is leading the first movement of Mozart's piano concerto in D minor on my phone. 

Her deftness in the articulation of each note no matter the speed--and the speed gets up there--is remarkable, a goal I wish to achieve.

As I sit here, I realize that the acoustics in here are incredible. I can feel possibility raising goosebumps as she simultaneously climbs those progressions with certainty. We are feeding each other.

And I realize...

We never stop growing, searching, striving.

To strive effectively, it helps to have a strong foundation, which this house and I both have.

And it definitely helps to have a vision. I am clear on interior design, the importance of ensuring excellent quality work now so that I can enjoy my growth here for many years, and possess the willingness to expand my skillset to be able to finance it. All of that is present right now. Glorious. 

Renewals can be scary, and indeed almost everyone is doing their level best to "talk some sense into me".

But visionaries can't be swayed. Leaders work out all of those details with research you would not believe (far more than the Wikipedia entry that you then edited "for accuracy") and then remain flexible enough to flow when obstacles arise. I'm realizing that my friends and family mean well and want me to avoid all that and be safe. They're trying to avoid, really, like, six major possible things that could go wrong with the renovation, all of which can be remedied with research and proper funding and time.

But if you know that there will be a million obstacles and just accept it, then when you have only six you're like, Hoorah!


There's no growth in stagnation. Besides, home renovation is basically a television production with your own money. I pick my crew, describe what needs to be done, figure out a timeline, know that the timeline will be destroyed, and work around it all. Everything takes longer than expected, costs more than you'd like, and except for ridiculous catastrophes that you couldnt have planned, usually works out great if you hire good people. So worry is wasteful. 


We teach this.

And now, the andante.

Tina L, multiple award winning teacher, producer, and composer, is the founder of The Piano Instructor. Her curriculum, Musical Kinetics, teaches teachers how to create musicians for life. It is field tested by teachers, written by a teacher, and perfected as students respond and science provides more information. It is available here.

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Slow down, Teachers. For real.

 I have a ton of work to do tonight. It is all groovy things to do. But it must be done, as opposed to wanting to do it for the sheer joy and exhilaration of doing something worthwhile with my time and energy on Earth, ya dig?

Energy is needed. Preparations must be made.


Cucumbers from a friends yard, sliced and peeled.

Tomatoes, sliced, also from someone's yard

Your favorite dressing because we are keeping it simple and delicious (mine today is Briannas creamy cilantro lime dressing).

Cracked pepper--my secret ingredient on salads


Mix it all up in a bowl. Crack some pepper on top of it all. Eat. Moan if you'd like.

This simple snack or meal or in between crunchy-creamy-good will make all the difference in your mood, in a wonderfully inexpensive, healthy, delectable way.

Have a great evening.

No, I am not a paid or any kind of spokesperson for the Briannas salad dressing label. This is true love. 

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Musical Kinetics--designed for music teachers by music teachers.

Musical Kinetics will dramatically improve your approach to teaching. You've got back-up now.

If you've just started teaching, you'll establish habits that will hold you in good stead throughout this career as well as others you may explore. Be inspired!
If you're a seasoned instructor, you've now encountered a "next level" curriculum that'll help your students strive to raise their own level of excellence. Motivate your students!

Purchase both the podcast audio and the PDF here: Musical Kinetics
Here are the contents:

Here's a lesson to check out:

Purchase the PDF here:
Musical Kinetics Store

Here's an excerpt from Seeing Your Success:

Purchase the audio here:
Musical Kinetics
What people have said about Musical Kinetics:
Simple to use. Easy to follow.
Helps students understand music concepts better.
Helps students feel engaged and interested.
Helps teachers relax and enjoy the process of very important right now.
Created for those who recently found themselves teaching in a digital, online format.