I am currently taking a class about the use of media and technology in education. I was asked to take the photo above and edit it in a way that represents who I am. The photo above represents me in several ways. I am a pianist and conductor so I have included both the keyboard and my baton. The piano in the picture is also significant because it is my parents’ piano that I learned to read music on when I was five years old. The piano itself triggers a lot of memories for me because I played on it during my whole childhood up till college. I overlaid a photo of Pease Auditorium here on EMU’s campus where I gave my senior piano recital last April. You can see the isle way leading up to the stage where the grand piano sits.
The juxtaposition of these two photos is really significant. The isle way aligns with the keys of my childhood piano and represents the journey of music learning I have worked towards that ends in this final performance at Pease. The stage is significant to me because I was told to quit piano at different parts of my educational career but I stuck with it anyways: I transferred colleges twice because I had a bad relationship with my piano teacher till I finally found the great program here at EMU. I also have had to push through a lot of difficult circumstances from not having the same basis of music education that many wealthy families can provide to their students that pursue piano; I had a lot of health issues that delayed my high school and college progress; as well as being a survivor of domestic violence in college. Through all these difficulties piano and music in general have been my constant and the activity that I use for solace. This photo represents my beginning and my ending goal having been reached through perseverance and hard work. I also like that the patterns of the organ pipes and concert hall wall behind the stage lay over my face. I fell a year ago and ripped my lip up to my nose so I now have a large scar that was not a part of me during my childhood and first few years of adulthood. The patterns fading in my face represent how I have come to terms with my scar and the emotional scars of all that has happened to me and how they have become a part of me that I can celebrate.
This assignment helped me remember the depth of my piano students’ lives that I just can’t see in the 30 minute lessons we interact once a week. But even with such little time together I could make a lasting impact on their lives like the teachers in my life (for better or for worse). I have had piano teachers that ruined my self-image and destroyed my self-confidence for years to come. I have also had piano teachers that have built me up, discovered who I am through music, and pushed me to be a better version of myself. I hope to be the latter kind: I want to push my students to discover more about themselves through creative expression and hard work. I hope that I can be a good example to my students and colleagues of a teacher that truly cares about my students’ development inside and out. Who would have known that piano and piano teaching could change someones life like it has mine?