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A piano student’s milestones and memories in photos and video

Today, September 5th, is Claudia’s 11th Birthday! She started lessons with me in 2006 when she had just turned 6 after coming to California from Hawaii. I remember her as a shy but wide-eyed child who had studied piano for a year or so.

Students who begin piano lessons at a tender age and stay the journey well into their teens, become part of a teacher’s family, blooming as musicians beside their passage through elementary, middle and high school. They will sometimes come back to visit years after they’ve finished college bringing the next generation of children to embark upon lessons. The cycle of life also plays out in the musical universe.


It’s now five birthdays later and Claudia has grown up before my very eyes, creating her own album of audible milestones from her first recital in my home at age 6, to numerous playing opportunities at MTAC Festivals and on the stage of Fresno Piano’s lovely concert hall.

On this special day honoring her eleventh year, I couldn’t help but mark the occasion by recapturing a few of Claudia’s musical rites of passage through photos and video. The first image on the left shows her at age 6 rehearsing a duet with me in preparation for her first recital here at my home studio. The picture to the right was taken following her second recital appearance when she was 7 years old and wearing a light blue top.

The picture below shows Claudia, age 6, dressed in purple velvet, playing my Steinway grand in her very first recital appearance.

Above: Claudia, age 9, rehearsed for a student musical gathering at the Fresno Piano Recital Hall.

Below, Claudia, 10, displayed her medallion awarded for a Superior rating received at last year’s MTAC’s “Celebration” Festival:

Age 10: At the last Baroque Festival held in February, 2011, Claudia played two Bach Inventions.

The first offering was J.S. Bach’s Invention No. 4 in D minor:

Age 11: Claudia participated in the MTAC Fall Festival at Valley Music Center where she played Beethoven’s “Fur Elise,” and the Chopin Waltz no. 19 in A minor.

For the Baroque scheduled in February, 2012 at Fresno State University, she will perform J.S. Bach’s C minor Prelude and Fugue, BWV 847 from the Well-Tempered Clavier, Book I.

Here’s a preview:

Claudia has come a long way since her first recital when she played the James Hook “Minuet,” J. S. Bach’s “Bouree,” Noona’s “The Red Drum,” and an assortment of duets.

How time flies!


The Joy and Value of Teaching a Piano Student Over Years

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