“Tillie, I’m so glad that you have decided to learn to play the piano. Thank you for choosing me as your piano teacher. We will become good friends and we’ll have a great time making music! Now, let’s sit down at the piano and begin our very first lesson.”
My new student sits down at the bench while I sit in a chair to her left. Tillie’s eyes are open wide with excitement as I show her the crisp, brand new books that we will be learning out of. We talk about each one and how we will be using it. I tell her about practicing piano at home and what is expected. I answer any questions she might have while trying to make her feel comfortable, because I know she is very nervous.
Then I say, “Here, I have something for you.” With my hands cupped as if holding something very tiny and special, I gently bring my hands right in front of Tillie. While opening my tightly cupped hands just a little bit, I say, “Inside my hands, I have a very tiny light. Can you see it?” Tillie then peers into my hands and says, “No, I can’t see it!” I say, “Well, it’s very, very small, but it is there. In fact, it’s just a little spark, so tiny, you might not be able to see it…not just yet. You see, this light that I want to share with you is part of me.”
Tillie is hanging on my every word. I continue and say, “Every day that you practice your piano, this little light will begin to grow. As you come to your piano lesson every week, I will begin to see your little light grow. I might see your light shine before you do. As long as you keep practicing, your light will grow bigger and shine brighter. If you stop practicing, your light will get smaller and grow dimmer. At first, it will be hard to see your little light shine. But as time passes, as long as you keep practicing, your light will keep growing.”
“Then one day, you will be amazed at how bright your light is shining and you will be so happy! Your mom and dad will also be happy and so will everyone who loves you, because they will see your light shining so bright!
This little light that I’m giving you today is the knowledge and talent that you will be developing over the years. I am so happy to share my light with you, in fact, it truly is my greatest joy. Now, take this little light from me and keep it safe. Never forget about your light, carry it with you and always remember how to make your light grow and shine bright.”
Tillie smiles as she opens up her hands and takes the little light from me.