Question: Where can I find an adjustable chair, just like yours?
This is a common question many parents ask! The reality is no instrument (especially pianos and keyboards) is built for children. As a result, one of the toughest things we face is making modifications to our instruments so that our children can learn in the most comfortable way possible.
A lot of issues that arise early on in learning, such as hand position, stem from a lack of understanding surrounding the importance of supporting your child's posture. We may very well be reminding them to have a tall back, but if the equipment in use doesn't support your child, the desired outcome would be very difficult to achieve.
The chair I use was purchased second hand and refurbished. Brand new stools are quite expensive, and generally second hand versions only require a coat of paint. It's lightly padded seat and supportive back make it perfect for young people.
The Australian Piano Warehouse stocks these chairs and a very reasonable price.
Before and after:
Question: Who was your piano teacher?
As many would know, I was a Suzuki student myself. Although that may be long time in the past, I often draw upon the experience to inform my own teaching practice. Mrs Jarrett's aim wasn't ever to create a concert pianist, child prodigy or piano teacher, but rather foster a love for learning, creativity, inquiry and music making. It is without any doubt we share the same approach and owe my love of teaching to the experiences she created for me.
Despite having retired, she continues to do what she loves with her small home studio.
Recently she was awarded Life Member of the Suzuki Music Association. A recent edition of the Suzuki newsletter featured this excerpt in celebration of the achievement:
"Since before 1990, Carolyn Jarrett has contributed to and served our Association with a great personal commitment to the Suzuki philosophy and the activities of the Association. Her dedication to Suzuki Music and to her students and families has always been strongly evident. She has Advanced Accreditation as a Suzuki Piano Teacher.
Carolyn served as President of Suzuki Music from 2001 to 2008. During this time there were many strategic challenges for the Association, which she handled with care and tenacity. Her support enabled the association to develop a staff environment which was strong, professional and well managed. During her time as President she visited the Suzuki Music Office weekly and helped with planning and daily tasks, well above and beyond her official role of President. Carolyn has also served on other sub-committees during her membership, including the Piano Committee.
Carolyn continually acts as an ambassador for Suzuki Music through hosting special visitors, and talking to educational and community groups about Suzuki. Carolyn has opened her home generously on numerous occasions to host international and interstate guests on behalf of Suzuki Music as well as hosting various events for teachers and students.
Carolyn has been and continues to be a committed Suzuki Piano Teacher in her home studio. She built up a thriving Suzuki Piano program at PEGS, and at one time, taught there for five days a week. Additional Suzuki teachers were soon needed to cater for the interest in Suzuki lessons at the school. Carolyn has actively encouraged and supported new Suzuki teachers, and has encouraged a strong sense of community generally among teachers and families.
She has attended and taught at nearly every Melbourne Suzuki Festival since she started. Carolyn has always been happy to take on extra duties at Festival as needed and spent many hours helping with the collation of registration packs for Festivals in past years. Her willingness to assist at any event with convening, compering or anything that needed to be done has been much appreciated by our community and further demonstrate her enthusiasm and generosity of spirit.
For all of these reasons, Carolyn has been awarded a Life Membership of the association which she has supported for such a long time. We thank her for her efforts."