Music Teacher's Helper Blog

Unique Neighborhood Venue

Recently, our neighborhood in suburban Denver enjoyed the grand opening of the “Streets of Southglenn”. Once a mall, it is now a village of specialty shops, restaurants, flower-pot-adorned streets, department stores, fountains and a natural foods grocery store. This national chain store features local rock bands and small ensembles during special store functions.

One evening, while shopping and dining–yes there is even a place to dine at this organic market–a band was playing up on the balcony, an extension of the dining area. Inspired by the live music instead of the typical “musack”, I envisioned a piano up in the balcony and opening performance opportunities to local teachers and their students and local artists.

Thanks to the wonderful and visionary people at the food market and the owner of a piano store nearby, a piano was placed permanently in the balcony. It is opened to teachers and well-prepared students every Saturday and Sunday from 11:00am-7:00pm.

Local area students now look forward to monthly opportunities to try out tried-and-true favorites and newly-learned pieces. Shoppers and diners are pleasantly surprised to hear live music and amazed when they notice a young person making the beautiful music. Kiddos donned in soccer cleats stand still to listen to peers. One table of diners commented that instead of going to a concert, the concert came to them. Potential students may walk in the door so teachers are always encouraged to bring business cards.

The store is looking to book local pianists and groups for Friday night concerts. In fact, last week Friday, a bassoon quartet serenaded the crowd with Broadway tunes!

With the help of Google Calendar, I now schedule those interested in booking a time through my MTH website.

As I pondered how to provide more friendly performance opportunities for my students, I would have never dreamed of this possibility. Historically, making music and casually sharing it with friends and neighbors was a common occurrence in homes and salons. It is wonderful to see musicians of all ages and levels continuing this tradition of giving the gift of music to the local community.

Is there a venue waiting for a piano in your neighborhood?

About the Author


  1. Christine Schumann

    Hi Leila!
    Great first blog! Congratulations…so glad to have you on board to share your ideas! I really enjoyed reading your article, as I’ve been pondering ideas for extra performance opportunities for my students. Thank you!

  2. Carlotte Openshaw

    The article on Lesson Notes and how to use them was very interesting to me. I liked the ideas you shared. You invited us to share anything else we like to do when using lesson notes. Personally I like to look for one great or positive thing that the student accomplished at each lesson. You can usually find something positive no matter if the student was prepared or not. Then I will include that one positive thing, experience or act in my notes on the lesson and make sure to send it to the parent as well as the student. I think this gives the student a boost to want to do better and keep up as well as the parent some little hope when the going gets rather tough.

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