Reflections of a Piano Teacher

“What do you do?”

“I’m a piano teacher.”

For four years, this sentence has opened most of my conversations. New acquaintances, dentist appointments, Uber drivers, coffee shop baristas, and more.

Typically, my professional reveal sparks a conversation about a previous or current musical pursuit. Eyes light up, interest peaks, and connection happens.

I’m sure my profession is not the only one that makes for interesting small talk or inspires follow-up questions, but I sometimes underestimate just how unique or out of the ordinary it is for people to meet a full-time piano teacher.

In taking a moment to step back and reflect on why the mention of “piano teacher” seems to inspire such a spirited response to people I’ve never even met before, I had a revelation.

A piano teacher embodies two of the most inspiring forces in our lives: music and education.

Every one of us has a teacher or mentor from our past who inspired us, expanded our horizons, and crafted us into the people we are today.

Every one of us has a song that captured a special moment, memory, or person in our lives. A song that takes us back in time to our happiest, most fulfilling milestones in our lives.

Music and education are two of the most powerful and inspirational forces in the world, and the role of piano teacher evokes the soulful spark of both.

Everywhere I go, people open up as their most authentic, alive, and soulful versions of themselves. Their eyes light up and they share with me what instrument they play, their favorite song, or a goal they dream of achieving.

When I reflect on the powerful effect being a piano teacher inspires in complete strangers, it reminds me even more of the incredible significance of my role for my own piano students.

A piano teacher provides the horizon expansion of an educator, the motivational relationship of a mentor, and a key to the vast world of music. What a truly humbling position to have the honor of holding!

“What do you do?”

“I’m a piano teacher.”