Piano Inspires Podcast: Sara Davis Buechner

To celebrate the latest episode of Piano Inspires Podcast featuring Sara Davis Buechner, we are sharing an excerpted transcript of her conversation with Craig Sale. Want to learn more about Buechner? Check out the latest installment of the Piano Inspires Podcast. To learn more, visit pianoinspires.com. Listen to our latest episode with Buechner on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, YouTube, or our website!

Connor Chee, Ann DuHamel, Leah Claiborne, and Sara Davis Buechner after their NCKP 2023: The Piano Conference PEDx presentations.

Sara Davis Buechner: Katie Welch’s first piano lesson: she came in with a big frown on her face. I said, “Are you in a bad mood?” She says, “Yeah!” I said, “Why are you in a bad mood?” “I hate the piano!” I said, “So do I! You know, I hate the piano a lot. Let’s beat it up.” I said, “Sit here with me.” And we just bam, bam, bam [demonstrates hitting surface]. We hit the keys of the piano until she got tired. I just let her do that until she [panting out of breath]. And then I said, “Okay, now are you tired of hitting the piano?” And she said, “Yeah.” I said, “Let me show you how the piano can maybe be your friend.” I played a beautiful Chopin nocturne with little stars. “Oh, that’s really nice.”

Anyway, three years later, she came in for her last lesson. She didn’t know it was her last lesson when it was done. I said, “Katie, I have to tell you something. I’m, I’m—I won’t be your piano teacher next year. I’m moving to the city of Vancouver. I’m joining a college faculty there.” And she said, “Where’s Vancouver?” And I drew a little map for her and I showed her. She burst out crying. I said, “Why are you crying? What’s the upset?” You know? She said, “I love the piano.”

Craig Sale: Oh!

SDB: It’s the best teaching job I ever did. You know? Because, you know, it’s interesting. I mean, I love my college students, of course. However, they’re at an age where they have specific goals in mind, they have to pass the jury, they’re entering a competition, they’re auditioning for a job. They need this skill or that skill, you know. It’s very goal oriented. With young children, I’m very aware that I don’t know what their goals are, they don’t know what their goals are. They’re unformed and the main thing is that you want to prepare them that if they do decide to be a teacher of music, to be a choir director, to be an accompanist, to be a teacher of solfège, you know, to be a jazz band leader, whatever, that they have a very, very positive feeling about it.

If you enjoyed this excerpt from Piano Inspires Podcast’s latest episode, listen to the entire episode with Sara Davis Buechner on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, YouTube, or our website!

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