Four Things Mrs. Kost Did Wrong

My first piano teacher, from third grade through my senior year of high school, made a lot of mistakes. As one of two instructors in a tiny town in central Illinois, she really didn’t know better.


Here’s what she did wrong:


1) She failed to demand excellence. 

My pieces were always perfect, of course (!), but when I heard other students play in the lesson times before and after me, I was sometimes shocked to hear such sloppy work. Mrs. Kost let it go.


2) When it was time to move on to another piece, we moved on. 

We never reviewed any of the pieces we had studied earlier.


3) She discouraged creativity.

We played the pieces as written, and were never allowed to deviate. When I proudly performed one of my band pieces, “Blast Off,” that I had worked up by ear and arranged, she let me know that this was unacceptable material for a piano lesson.


4) None of her students played in any recitals. 

I once asked her if we could hold a studio recital, and I offered to organize it. “Oh noooooooo,” she said solemnly. And that was that.


I have tried to learn from my first teacher’s deficiencies and do better.



Fun Classical Pieces All Students Love


Almost all students love the following timeless classical pieces:


Arabesque #2 by Burgmuller

Fur Elise by Beethoven

Minuet in G Major by Bach

Musette in D Major by Bach

Ode to Joy- theme from Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, 4th movement

Rondo alla Turca (Turkish March) by Mozart

Toccatina op. 27, 12 by Kabalevsky


Other suggestions, anyone? There are thousands of choices.