An Open Letter to My Music Teacher

This has been harder to write than I thought. I thought that since I had so much to say, saying it would be easy. I was wrong. Even so, I will try.

When I first came to lessons, I didn’t speak much. I didn’t even want to come to them, because I was scared of new things. Over time, however, I started loving lessons, instead of dreading them. My passion for piano grew and overshadowed many things in my life. I spent hours practicing, stressing over pieces, and loving the panic. When we took a break from piano lessons, I expected to miss the music, which I expected. I found myself missing you too, which I didn’t expect. Our break wasn’t long, but I realized that I loved music lessons not just because of music, but because of your attitude.

You have a contagious outlook towards life. I almost always left my lesson encouraged, not only about practicing, but about my family, my relationships with other people, and other skills I was learning. You were patient with me when my practicing wasn’t sufficient, and with many I-didn’t-practice-enough-please-forgive-me tears. You helped me when I decided to try something new, like teaching students or arranging mashups. You encouraged me when I started playing music with other people (which eventually led to talking to people). You are far more than “just a music teacher.”

Thank you for being kind and encouraging. I thought that this would be an easy post to write, because I could spend hours writing about your good qualities. I love being around you. You inspire me. Your house is one of my favorite places to be, because you are there. I didn’t realize that the hardest part is deciding what not to say, because I have much to say about you, and only a short post to say it.  You have shaped me so as a musician and as a person that I don’t know what my life would look like without you. You are a huge part of my life, and I hope that I know you for a long time.

With exceeding joy,

Anne Mary Russell

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