Growing Up And Sticking With Piano Lessons

Kathryn MacDonald – When Someone Grows Up Taking Private Music Lessons.8 Facts You Probably Didn’t Know About the Piano
When you think about piano lessons you usually think about a kid taking them for a few years and then quitting. But what happens when they stick with it? Kathryn McDonald is a fine example of what happens. She started taking piano lessons when she was about 7 years old. From the very beginning she enjoyed learning to play piano and some 11 years later as a senior at St. Pius X High School, she still takes lessons. In fact she is preparing for her Senior Recital on Friday May 17th.

Kathryn’s mom, Anita, always saw value in music education. She grew up playing and taking lessons and now she wanted her three children to learn to play an instrument. All three of her children played music growing up and benefited both educationally and socially from being able to play an instrument. Just like most moms these days in Atlanta, Anita needed to find a way to get music lessons into the schedule. She was happy to find out that Kathryn’s piano teacher could come to the home. She scheduled Kathryn’s’ first lessons with Jay Maurice, the founder of Lessons In Your Home a school of music teachers who travel to your home or school. Later she started her twin sons on guitar (also with LIYH).
“Having music teachers come to our home wasn’t the only reason for kids sticking with music lessons but if sure helped,” said Anita.
Since starting with Jay, Kathryn has had two additional piano teachers (all with Lessons In Your Home). She feels she learned special and unique things from each of them and still keeps in touch with each one.
Her current teacher is Amore Francis; he is a locally degreed pianist receiving his BA in Piano from Kennesaw State University and his master’s in Piano and Education from Georgia State University.
Amore says, “I am so proud of Kathryn and the pianist she has become, but even more proud to know the person she is. She is special because she always thinks about how she can make it better. She puts heart in everything she does and that is something you can’t teach.”
Before Kathryn goes off to UGA next fall, she is doing what most students don’t –giving her own piano recital with an impressive repertoire.
Selections include Mozart Sonata in Eb Major, Rachmaninoff Melodie op. 3 no. 3, Chopin Waltz no.64, and two Chopin Preludes, e minor and b minor. She’s holding the concert with help from her family and teacher at Piano Works, a piano retailer in Duluth.
With these selections you might think Kathryn is going to study music at UGA. For now, she says with a chuckle, “Pre-pharmacy, but we’ll see how long that lasts. I’m young and really don’t know.”
What she does know is that she loves music and is happy it’s been a part of her life.
Jay Maurice from Lessons In Your Home remembers Kathryn’s early days on the instrument.
She always tried to make each piece of music her own. I can remember one time after she had taken piano lessons for a little while she said to me that she didn’t like a certain piece I was asking her to play. I explained that she might not like it because she didn’t understand the piece yet. Weeks later she thanked me for explaining that to her because she loved that particular piece of music. That’s something you rarely get from such a young student,” Jay said.
Private music students don’t always stay the course but when they do, good things tend to happen. There is a sense of accomplishment that comes from the effort that one gives to learning an instrument and that is evidently clear in Kathryn’s life.
She’s also smart enough to know that her options are open. She has a great, supportive family!
Recital Details – Friday May 17th, 4pm. Piano Works 2805 Buford Hwy. Duluth, GA 30096
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