Friday, March 3, 2017

A Chance Encounter

A Chance Encounter

Teaching is a second career for me (well, maybe a third?).  My first degree is in piano pedagogy and, to this day, I continue to run a small piano studio from my home.  Having once taught over 45 students per week, the 16 I have now is a breeze!  

Another part of teaching piano is accompanying the students from our local junior high every year at the Solo and Ensemble Festival in February.  This event took place just a few weeks ago.

As I was waiting to enter a room to accompany one of the 41 students I was working with this year, I ran into a former student.  Immediately the talk turned to books.

"What are you reading now?"
"I just finished a series and now I don't know what to read."
"What did you just finish."

I honestly don't remember what he said but it was a fantasy series that I was surprised he had not read before because he is a voracious reader.

"Oh!  Did you enjoy it?"
"May I suggest a series I think you will really like?"

"Try Gregor the Overlander series.  I think you will really love it.  There are about 5-6 books in the series."
"Awesome!  Thanks."

During this brief encounter, his mother attentively listened in.  When he walked out of the contest room, she asked about the book again.  I reminded her of the name as she pulled out her phone to send herself a reminder.  I imagine that series arrived at their doorstep a day or two later.

There is something so absolutely wonderful about running into former students and immediately reconnecting over books.  I live in a small town; it is not unusual to run into former students and instantaneously ask, "What are you reading?" and learn about a new favorite book or author.  It is the a connection that will never disappear.

Thank you to Two Writing Teachers for the opportunity to share this slice of my life.


  1. That sounds like a special conversation! So lovely to talk books with former students!

  2. Phyllis,
    I have this vision of you with your fingers on the piano keyboard while talking about books. I know you don't do it simultaneously . . . but that's my picture!

    Isn't it FUN to talk about books? Keep those SERIES going and readers they will be!

    Love learning from you as you slice!

    1. Fran, believe it or not, we often talk books during our piano lesson. I love the long-term relationships teaching piano creates!

  3. The piano teacher part intrigues me. Series are just the best aren't they?

  4. This post reminds me of my piano teacher. She & I would often discuss books over my lessons and we still do to this day. I'm sure several of your students that you've played the accompaniment part for at Solo & Ensemble have thanked you. But as a former S & E participant allow me to say thank you as well. Thank you for taking that time out of your weekend.

  5. What a fun conversation. Love it when you can connect with students over books.

  6. You have inspired this student!! Having conversations about books with students is one of my most favorite parts of my job. :-)

  7. I love working at a job where I get to talk about books all day every day! Such an amazing privilege!

  8. I LOVE that you have that kind of experience regularly. I took pride in noticing a former student dressed as Sabrina Grimm (from the Sisters Grimm) yesterday- a series I introduced her to two years ago. Books are connectors!