Why I Teach Piano Lessons - Jacqueline Courson
Why I Teach Piano Lessons ?>

Why I Teach Piano Lessons

My mission is to serve the community by encouraging self-expression through the study and creation of music. I am driven by my belief in the power of music when used as a language for self-expression - and I am inspired by my own experiences as a music student to create this magic for my own students.

people holding guitars, microphones and a keyboard in the air"Music is
a world within itself,
with a language
we all understand."

Stevie Wonder

Self-Expression through Music

I teach piano lessons because I value the right of self-expression. The ability to express oneself is the most pure form of freedom, to exercise the mind, to play in the creative space, and to relate to other human beings. When we express ourselves, we find ourselves - we observe and reflect on where we sit in relation to all that is around us, permitting us to decide whether or not we want to sit in that space.

midi keyboard synth synthesizer and korg board on worn out leather couch

"If the freedom of speech
is taken away then
dumb and silent we may be led,

like sheep to the slaughter."
George Washington, 1783

 

Freedom of self-expression is freedom of speech. Free speech is responsible for the preservation of our basic freedoms - as we are free to express our thoughts and feelings, we are also free to listen to others express their thoughts and feelings, and again we can decide whether or not to accept what is happening around us or to us. Regular practice of self-expression exercises the muscle of Courage.

person playing high keys on a keyboard very gently"Music is the only universal language which needs no translation."
Berthold Auerbach

 

There are many ways to express oneself, through clothing, visual arts, words - but music is the common language "which needs no translation" as poet and author Berthold Auerbach remarked. The sound itself communicates ideas instantaneously, across cultures, no barriers. We can express ourselves through the music we listen to; allowing us to tell others who we are, though it is likely not a full representation of ourselves. Or, if we play music, we can exercise our own freedom of speech through this universal language. We have the ability to define ourselves to the outside world with infinite possibilities.

This is why I teach piano lessons. Because I value self-expression and can speak fluently in the language of music, I want to share this privilege with my students so they can too speak the language and express themselves.

Increasing Your Vocabulary in the Language of Music

The more we learn about music and how to play music, the larger our vocabulary becomes. Will we communicate our message better with a vocabulary of 100 words - or 10,000 words? In music, we can speak through the chord progressions, the rhythms, the tempo, the dynamics - not just lyrics and melody!

glasses and a pen resting on sheet music

“I’m able to sometimes
express things
even more articulately
on the piano
than I am with singing.”
Harry Connick Jr.

Before we can fully and accurately express ourselves through music, we must first learn the words - the notes, the chords. Then we must learn how to form a sentence - the melody and phrasing. To improve our expression, we read and study the stories of others. We listen to their songs, we play their songs, and we begin to understand others and ourselves... Until finally we can express our true and full self, in all its beautiful complexities.

The fate of humanity rests on our individual abilities to express our stories in the symphony of society.

Play Well to Live Well

Whether the student's goal is to receive the side benefits of a music education, to express him or herself, or write original compositions, the knowledge and skills for playing and writing music can be taught. And in order to live well, we play well, through practice.

Today, I teach both children and adults at all levels. I especially enjoy teaching those new to the instrument as I am privileged with the opportunity to form a solid foundation, as my teacher did for me.

person with a peaceful and gentle expression looking up in warmly-lit rain"Life is like a piano.
What you get out
of it depends on
how you play it.”
Tom Lehrer

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