My first piano teacher, from 3rd grade through my senior year of high school, lived in my tiny home town of Astoria, Illinois. She made a lot of mistakes-- unintentional-- but she also did some important things right:
She loved her students.
This one characteristic, alone, can make substandard instructors 100% better.
She played for us.
In addition to our lesson pieces, all students were allowed to choose more challenging classical or fun pieces as supplemental music. Mrs. Kost performed these for us.
She prepared for lessons.
She always had her materials readily available, her piano tuned, and her living room, tidy.
She was kind and encouraging.
She was patient, uplifting, and reassuring. Never a cross word came from her lips.
Though Mrs. Kost could never be called an outstanding teacher, she was a good one. I’m grateful for her instruction.