On Wednesday I woke up and around 6:30 a.m. my very first piano teacher, Rhoana Shaw, popped into my mind. I hadn’t fully thought of her like that for about 40 years. I wondered if she might be on Facebook because I wanted to send her a quick note to thank her for giving me such a rich foundation in music. At 6:38am I sent the person I thought might be her a DM on Facebook hoping she might respond. No response by my lunch break that day but I kept thinking about her so I Google searched her name and her obituary showed up stating she had passed on Monday, Dec 14 of this week. I immediately got chills. I noticed she had mutual friends with me on Facebook so I confirmed that yes, she was a piano teacher. So I would like to pay tribute to this beautiful soul. Both for this experience of feeling her presence this week not knowing she had passed and for being strict, passionate, and an incredible piano teacher. I found her handwritten lesson plans including my first lessons in 1978. I had begged for years to take piano lessons and got to start once my parents could afford a piano. I also found her handwritten manuscripts she would draw in front of me of each major and minor scale with appropriate fingering. Rhoana, thanks for saying hello this week and I now know you know I appreciate you even though I didn’t get to message that to you directly. Your influence of teaching me to practice daily, to improv from the heart, to be particular about my fingering, and to learn music from multiple viewpoints has stayed with me throughout my life. I will always be grateful I had a superb first piano teacher. Rest In Peace, Rhoana. I have a deep love of the power of music because of you.

Like this post0
Go top