To Everything There is a Season

I love teaching piano.  A lot.  I love it more than any other job I’ve had, except being a mom.  We waited quite awhile for our children to come to our family.  After 5 1/2 years of marriage, we adoped a beautiful baby girl.  When she was 4 years old, we brought home an 18 month old son.  Ten months later, we brought home another son who was almost 2.  Seven months later, we brought home a 7 month old daughter. 

It was quite a time for us.  We went from one child to 4 in just under a year and a half.  Each child brought many blessings, but also unique challenges.  Piano gave me something else to think about during the 20 or so daily diaper changes, bottles, and the endless mischief and destruction that my boys always seemed to be in to.  The few hours in the afternoon that I spent teaching piano were a welcome reprieve from the chaos that seemed to rule my life. 

The Family, when the children were 7, 4, 4, and 2

The Family, when the children were 7, 4, 4, and 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I couldn’t imagine a time that I wouldn’t want to teach piano.  Until now, that is.  My mischievous boys are in second grade this year, and my baby is in Kindergarten.  My oldest is in 5th grade.  I was blessed to land a part-time teaching job in our school district.  It’s wonderful.  I can teach when they are at school, and we can be together in the afternoons.  I went from 21 students taking 45 minute lessons last year down to a mere 3 students this year.  Now, I have time to do homework, talk after school, and simply spend time with my children.  I cherish this time, and am so thankful for it.  I have all the time in the world to be a piano teacher, but this is the only time that my children will be young, and I want to be with them as much as I can.

The other wonderful thing about this whole arrangement is that I finally have time to teach my 3 little ones piano.  We all know how hard it can be teaching your own children, but I am going to do all that I can to make it work.  To this end, it is my goal to post at least weekly about various activities and such that I do with my children during their lessons.  Since they are mine, they can have more than one lesson a week, and I can pull out many of the wonderful resources that I sometimes don’t get to use.  We are having a great time, and my little ones are pretty excited to be mommy’s piano students, too.  They have waited for this for a long time, and I am glad that I can accomodate their wishes.

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14 Responses

  1. D’Net~
    This was such a sweet and encouraging post to read! I’m so glad that you are taking time to be with your children – I know you will never regret it! It’s refreshing to hear of mothers who take their role as a mom seriously and invest in the lives of their children.
    As much as I love teaching, I’ve often thought that if the Lord gives me a husband and children someday, I would give it up in a heartbeat to be able to focus on and invest in my family. Thanks for sharing with us!

  2. D’Net, I appreciate your post especially at a time where I have personally taken on so many more students than I normally like to have. But since those extra students are coming earlier in the day, I’m hoping that this will give me a chance to bump the later students up to an earlier time as students quit so I can end earlier and spend more time with my kids who are teenagers now! You’re doing the right thing- those precious years fly by!

    I’m looking forward to your posts on what you are doing with your children. Good luck with everything!

  3. D’Net,

    Congratulations on your beautiful family and sharing your story with us. Over the years people asked if I taught piano since I played the piano and organ at church every weekend. Since I had three youngters at home, I told them ‘no’, until the day when all three were out on their own.

    That was thirteen years ago. This year I have 15 students. How fast the time flew when my little ones were all at home. Enjoy your family !!!!

  4. How wonderful for you! I’ve been struggling with the same thing somewhat. I have two children, the oldest in 1st grade and the youngest in Preschool part time and a baby on the way. We moved this summer, so I’m taking a break until January, but the more time that I’m away, the less I want to return to teaching!

    I’m glad that this is working out for you so well-keep up the good work!

  5. Congratulations on this decision! You have the right perspective, and your family will be blessed. I’m looking forward to learning from your upcoming posts. Take care and have fun!

  6. Good for you, D’net! I’m in a “too many students” season right now, as my husband is out of work and it’s necessary. It’s a challenge, but I also have been able to adapt my teaching to my family’s needs for the most part over the years, for which I’ve been VERY thankful! Enjoy this important time with your kids!

  7. Hi, I’ve never commented before, but I check your blog occasionally and love all the ideas you have for making piano lessons fun. As I was reading your post, my husband walked by and said, “isn’t that the Laytons?” I said “yeah, I guess so– do you know them?” He said, “they’re in our stake.” So funny! I had no idea! For all I knew, you could have been on the east coast or something! Anyways, I sure do enjoy your ideas. Thank you, and I hope you have fun teaching your kids.

  8. D’Net,
    Blessings to you and your family! You will never regret taking off piano teaching to be with them. I know from personal experience that they will soon be grown and away from home. Have fun with your family and I look forward to reading about your lessons with them.
    -Susan Paradis

  9. You’ve got a very informative and interesting blog here, D’Net. This can really be a good place for music teachers like me to always come to play. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and experiences in teaching music. In the picture you posted above, I can see the whole family as well as the kids are really having fun – enjoying moments like this with all greatness and happiness. Continue to nurture the gift of life and celebrate each happy moment with the kids. By the way, I will look forward to your posting more creative piano teaching resources that we can use today in the music studio or classroom. Til your next posts! All the best!

  10. D’Net,

    I’m so glad for you and your little ones – how wonderful for you all. I’m just curious – and this may seem a bit personal, but I’m wondering if you had to take a “paycut” to do that…only because I’ve thought of doing it myself but think it would be very financially challenging for me. It does sound so wonderful to have that extra time with the kids after school, but I’m not sure our budget could handle the shock of it.

    Also – and probably a better question – How the heck did you manage to “fire” so many students? I think I’d have to move if I was going to do that – it would be so hard for me! What did you do with the other 18? And how did you decide on the three luckies that got to stay? Just wondering.

    Thanks for all your ideas and helps – I love your website!

  11. D’Net I just found your website…and i love it!…I can tell you are very blessed by the Lord: you have a cute Family and do what you love most, Music!…I am not a piano teacher but I play multiple instruments (classical guitar, ukulele, charango, recorder, harmonica) and I have 2 little ones who are 4 and 6…I found your website while trying to figure out how to teach them music…They have been exposed to music all their lives and they are great at singing and dancing…But it is proving to be a challenge teaching them about all this…Your site and experiences are encouraging and I thank you for posting!…I will keep on trying!…And now with the resources you recommend, I think it will get easier!

    Franco

  12. Hi D’Net – thank you for all of the resources you make available for fellow teachers!

    I recently discovered your interval flashcards from a post on the Faber Piano Adventures Forum. Would it be possible to save/print them 4 to a page, rather than 1 to a page (as it comes up now on my computer). Perhaps they are saved like that, but I can’t figure out how to open it that way!

    Thanks again!

  13. Joyful-

    You should have an option when you go print it out that says layout and then pages per sheet. Then you just change the number to reflect 4 to a page. So in this case you would type 4. Then you can see a preview before you print to make sure it looks like you want. Hope that helps.

  14. Thank you! That worked perfectly! I never used that feature before – now I know!! ;)

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