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The Beloved Community of Students

January 24, 2018

Hello to all on this snowy day in January!

Every once in awhile I look at my roster of students and glory in the wonderful community we have.  I am grateful for the presence and progress of each student.  It is my pleasure to be with you all;  parents, friends, and extended family.  And the grandparents, oh the grandparents!

Yes, what a wonderful, intrepid and talented batch of hard working piano students.  Just like the old Romper Room roll call;  I see  Alice, Walter and Franny, I see Jade, Asa and Tobi, I see you Christine and Sarah my wonderful adult students, I see Eleanor, Esther and Raquel, I see the teenagers, Cameron, Iris, and Serwyn.  I see you all!  And a hearty hello to my wonderful Young Voices students at Plymouth Congregational Church and Greenspoon daycare;  Cooper, Phoebe, Eve, Sylvia, Peter, and Iris, Benny, Griffin, Kestral, Veda, Annika, Teddy, Maggie and Frankie.  I see and love you too.

How is it that I have taught at both Plymouth and Greenspoon for over a decade?!  And the first piano lesson I ever gave was in 1997?!  (shout out to Zoe Sommers Haas). Some of you have been learning piano with me since you were very young and I have had the privilege of watching you grow up, others are new to the Piano Lab,  and still others of you are returning to piano as adults.  I always say my first job as a teacher is to be delighted to see you when you walk through the door.  You make this easy.

Time certainly does fly and here we are in this present moment, whew!  Part of my practice of musical mindfulness is to give thanks for every time we have to opportunity to play together.  This winter has already been a cavalcade of duets.  We have enjoyed opening up the conversation around improvisation and some students are including other instruments in our time.  (trumpet, ukelele, drums)  Such fun!  As many of you know, I have a hand disability that I work with, so when I can play the piano alongside you it is a bonus.  Music is a social joy.  Look for another Piano Salon in April where we will no doubt play music together.  And get out to hear music.  Peter Schimke is at the Lexington this Saturday!

As a small and potent tribe of music makers we are in a sweet spot right now folks.  I count you all as blessings and look forward to growing alongside you in our beloved community.

Love,

Kristen

Musical Generosity with Peter Schimke

March 1, 2015

Our first Master Class! Improvisation with Peter Schimke

What an inspiration to have Peter Schimke in The Piano Lab in Seward!  It was a delight to see our young musicians and their families come to a different kind of attention and take note of the intense pleasure a musician can have with their instrument.  Peter held us all spell bound with his playing.  He articulated great tools for increasing options at the piano,  played improvisational duets with each student, and knocked the socks off us as he went at it!  Playing several tunes with the flair, intensity and artistry he is known for.    We all got to experience what is possible when skill and creativity, years of exploration and discovery, hard work, and the love of music come together.  Thank you Peter!  We look forward to hearing more of your music.

Piano Lab, stay tuned for an upcoming opportunity to hear Peter at a special Jazz Central event.

Peter Schimke

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