Finding Joy in Piano

Elissa Milne (pianist, writer, teacher and composer) has written a piano teacher’s manifesto. In the manifesto she lays out the purpose for piano lessons. It is what frames her teaching, her expectations and her composing for students.  Every item on the list is spot-on and I find myself wishing I had a copy of this years ago to hand out to parents and students and to hang on the wall as a reminder to myself.

Elissa talks about the “cool stuff” students can learn to do at the piano and then moves on to talk about the emotional benefits of piano lessons. You learn to understand yourself better, as well as other people. You begin to understand your place in history. You engage your brain in a way unlike the way you do with any other activity. Perhaps most importantly, you play for the joy you feel when you’re able to share an effortless performance with an engaged audience.

So, in the spirit of finding the joy in piano once again, maybe it’s time to resurrect this blog. Just maybe.

4 thoughts on “Finding Joy in Piano

  1. Elissa Milne truly hits the nail on the head when talking about piano lessons helping people understand themselves better. The dedication it takes to see personal growth, combined with the opportunity for self expression is something that is truly amazing. Thank you for sharing her “Piano Teaching Manifesto”. She writes with an interesting perspective, and talks about things that we here at Merriam spend a good deal of time thinking about! Does anyone know how long she has been teaching?

  2. Hello, Merriammusicinc! So glad to see that the manifesto resonated with you!

    I’ve been teaching for over three decades now… It’s a bit addictive…

    Many thanks to Catherine for linking to my blog, and the manifesto post!

  3. Oh wow! I can relate to that- Once a teacher, always a teacher!!! I have yet to have a listen to your compositions just yet. I’ll make sure to get to that today! I’ll stay tuned to both of these blogs for more posts like this in the future, great read!

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