After 21 years of teaching private piano and composition I will teach my last lessons this coming Saturday and it feels so strange. I’ve been slowly cutting down on the teaching for the last several years, at one point I had as many as 60 students, but discontinuing the last 10 or so has been one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do.
I truly enjoy teaching and fought hard to keep doing it over the last few years even as ACM was growing by leaps and bounds and I got a weekly radio show on WFMT and also worked hard to keep up with my own composing. But the last several months have been a nightmare as I’ve had to sub out and cancel lessons, I forgot about students and left them sitting in the waiting room and, I have to admit, my mind simply has not been on teaching.
I find myself in the lesson thinking about a grant that’s due or getting an idea for a radio show or worrying about attendance at an upcoming concert and I can’t concentrate on the needs of the student. My realization is that ACM hires very good teachers and most of them do not have a thousand other things on their mind so it’s best for the students, and for myself, if someone else takes these lessons over.
As hard as it is to tell everyone that I’m transitioning out though, it is very exciting to think about doing a radio show on contemporary music for stations around the world and to continue to grow ACM so that we can achieve our mission of changing the popular image of classical music in this day and age. 2014 will truly be a new year for me in many ways!