Here is a sampling of letters that I have received over the years from former students, adult students, parents, and colleagues who have had piano lessons, organ lessons, or other contact with me in my capacity as a teacher or musician.
Thank you for everything you have ever done for me. Thank you for being my piano teacher, my mentor, and, most importantly, my friend. The lessons you taught me are invaluable. Every time you told me “now we can get picky,” you pushed me further, taught me to pay attention to minute details because they are what make the whole creation beautiful. And then, right when I would get obsessed with the details, you would say “let’s look at the bigger picture, the tree instead of the bark.” I will never forget you or the impact that you had on my life. Thank you.
Dear Mrs. Richardson,
It was very nice to hear from you during graduation. I would love to see you again and catch up. I may not be taking piano lessons, Mrs. Richardson, but I still do play! I used to spend time in the practice rooms on campus playing some of my old pieces! Next year I will start a Ph.D. program!
Dear Mrs. Richardson,
Thank you so much for teaching theory class! I had tons of fun and I learned a lot! Keep up the good work.
Throughout my 6 or 7 years of schooling while being involved with music, I often had to balance out the left side of my brain by sitting down at the piano or blown’ notes on my trumpet. I found that if I did this before a test I would be able to think clearer and score higher.
For example, before my Advanced Placement English Literature examination (a test I was very worried about passing), my mom suggested that I sit and play a couple of notes on the piano to relax. Because I’ve always been more of a science and math kind of guy, this test was especially difficult for me and I was willing to try anything that might increase my success. After I had played for a good seven minutes, opening with Canon in D and finishing with Schumann’s “Aufschwung” (a miraculous ending), I was pumped up, focused, and ready.
Because of my performance on the test, I was able to earn myself 5 credits at the University of Washington (equivalent to English 111). The long years (of never practicing enough) had aided me in ways I had never thought possible. All it took was getting in touch with my creative side and balancing out everything in my life.
I’d like to thank you, Joann, for being such a wonderful teacher to me all those years. Even though I may not have been the most prepared student, I got more out of those weekly lessons than I could ever possibly express in words.
We really enjoyed the recital tonight. Everyone played so well.
I just have to thank you for teaching my daughter to make beautiful music. Because you are the kind of person that you are, she has been able to respect you and respond to your teaching. We are very grateful that you are a part of her life.
Thanks so much for coming to our Homecoming Coronation and Pep Assembly. You have been such an important person in K’s life and have truly given him the gift and love of music.
Thank you for doing the theory class. These children are getting training far beyond anything I had at that age.
Mr. and Mrs. W.
Thanks, Joann, for all your help. You’re terrific!
Thank you for your time and patience teaching us the piano. Your concern and thoughtfulness is certainly appreciated.
D and S
This is a very belated thank you for your wonderful performance at the recital in November. I thoroughly enjoyed all the music, but my favorite was “In Paradisum.” You did such a fine job and I was proud I could tell people you’re my teacher. I am looking forward to learning more about organ repertoire this summer.
Thank you again.
Love and God bless, K.
Words don’t express the gratitude I have for your expert and kind teaching of the organ for me this past year.
Most sincerely, L.
Thank you for your expert instruction and personal attention.
All the best,
Thank you for presenting at this year's conference. The evaluation forms said it was a hit, and people want more.
Thank you so much for the extraordinary contribution you’re making as a session presenter at Washington Music Teacher’s Association 100th Birthday Celebration Conference!
Being willing to share your expertise with conference attendees is very gracious, and will certainly benefit our colleagues who hear you speak. Your words this week are sure to enhance studios all over Washington for years to come. Thank you again!
Thanks again for a well orchestrated program. You have a special talent of being able to press for excellence without demoralizing kids— it’s nice to watch. The kids enjoyed performing and the parents loved it!
Thanks so much for your help. You do such a beautiful job with the students. Your expertise is such an asset.
Belated thanks for sharing your presentation and performance. Your passion for the organ and the music is very apparent. I was reminded of my own early years of organ study and regretting I’ve lost touch with that area of music.
I learned lots of informative facts I never knew— and enjoyed your playing.