August is one of my absolute favorite times of year; the return to routine. Scheduling returning and new students absolutely thrills me, and I cannot wait to connect that final piece of the puzzle that creates a lovely fall schedule for myself and all my students. It is a time of new beginnings.
Each August, brand new students - children and adults - nervously bring their crispy and bright books in soft new bags to my piano room. They place their hands between their knees as they navigate the vulnerability of sitting with a teacher and making inevitable mistakes. They swallow hard, hoping to answer the teacher's every question accurately. They place their hands on the keys and begin. Returning students bring their slightly worn, slightly bent, marked-in-pencil books back from summer break, dust them off, and remember, "Ohhhh yeah, I never finished that piece." They sit down confidently, upon the foundation of education from the previous year(s), stretch out their summery fingers, and begin. Adults who wished they had never quit in fourth grade vow to refresh their minds and recommit to that which once was neglected; piano lessons. They sit down, apologize unnecessarily for quitting in fourth grade, and begin...again.
To all these students, I say welcome. Welcome to possibility. Welcome to growth. Welcome to an environment of encouragement and support. Welcome to my own keyboard fumbles. Welcome to lightbulb moments and welled-up eyes. Welcome to pats on the back and nudges toward proper fingering. Welcome to scales and arpeggios, old favorites and new classics. Let's begin!