Thursday, March 1, 2012

Ree, the Piano Teacher (and Zipper Artist)

When people ask what I "do for a living", I love watching their reaction.  At first, it's the look of surprise. From there, it can go one of two ways: 1) it morphs into a pleasant smile, or 2) the look of surprise slowly fades to a foul grimace as the words "piano teacher" sink in.

Very rarely do I get a person who simply says, "That's nice."  Usually, people give me a little summary of their own childhood experiences with piano lessons.  Group 1, the Smilers, typically have fond memories of their piano teachers, or never took lessons but always wish that they had.  Group 2, the Ones Who Look Like They May Vomit, have different memories of their piano teachers.  In their minds, piano lessons were complete agony and the teacher was "a mean old lady whose house smelled really weird".  Not to mention those horrible recitals and all the (insert gagging noise here) practice their parents made them do.  I come from Group 1; my husband comes from Group 2.  I think it's quite ironic that he married a gal who became a piano teacher.  Oh, Life, you are too funny.

Sometimes I wonder what my young students think of their piano lessons with me.  I do hope that they enjoy it and will look back on their lessons with a smile.  But it's so hard to tell.  For example...One week, I got a love note from Little Georgie* complete with a beautiful sketch of a piano encircled by a heart.  A couple of weeks later, he asked me a joke that started like this: "Why did the kid push his piano teacher overboard?" Another week, he quit piano lessons.  Then a couple weeks later, he comes back with another love note.  Who knows?  (* = name changed)

My piano teacher, Kim, was awesome.  She bore with me through the awkward teenage years, even letting me play a Hanson song for my recital one year.  I felt so hip, walking down the aisle of the church in my psychedelic long blue dress and white platform sandals, a thick roll of bangs neatly curled on my forehead.  As I approached the piano at the front of the church, I somehow felt I was getting ready to declare my love for Taylor Hanson to all the other kids and parents in the audience.  After I banged out "Where's The Love?" with sweaty hands, my adolescent act of devotion complete, I turned to see Kim smile and give me a wink as if to say, "You go, girl."  I hope I can be that for my students.

In sewing news...

I have conquered my fear of zippers!  For the St. Louis Modern Quilt Guild this month, we're doing a swap of pouches.  I signed up, and then realized, "Oh, shoot...pouches usually have zippers."  So, I had a little "dress rehearsal" in making a zippered pouch before I make the real deal.  Here's how it turned out:

I used Noodlehead's gathered clutch tutorial found here.  Zippers, it turns out, aren't as scary as I thought they were.  Here's the inside:

The end.


  1. I was the kid who hated to practice. I regret it now though. Your zippered pouched is ca-ute!

  2. I liked my piano teacher :) And I haven't been brave enough yet to attempt a sewing project with zippers, but I am just learning, and I'm sure I will soon enough. Looks like you did a great job with it!

  3. This made me smile, as always :)

  4. I never had a piano teacher growing up... I did enjoy playing the flute in band, but I was never very good at it. LOL Love the pouch! I wish I could overcome my fear of zippers. I really wish that I had joined the pouch swap. All of the pouches were amazing!

  5. I'm not sure what happened but your last 2 entries didn't make it to my feed so I just got to catch up! What a sweet treat! Pouch-adorable, beloved piano teacher-of course, tight/tall ponytail wielding basketball player- no doubt... I enjoy reading any and all that your write. Thanks!