Thursday, August 28, 2014

House Tour: My Piano Studio

I've shared quite a few glimpses into our home on this blog but I'd love to do a little tour, room by room, starting with my piano studio. I hope you enjoy!

baby grand/upright in home piano studio


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It's hard to explain in words the deep satisfaction these 176 keys surrounded by these four walls bring me. Having this piano studio--for teaching, practicing, someday, I hope, for rehearsing--is such a gift, and a gift not easily come by. When we were looking for places to rent we obviously had to consider the pianos and I almost gave up a few times and resigned myself to using only the upright and keeping my baby grand in storage. Finding a place that could accommodate both pianos (even if it meant sticking them in the dining room) that was also in our budget was really difficult. Finding a place that had a separate space for both pianos was nearing impossible. But we found the impossible and I appreciate it every single day.

Having a separate studio space within our home was important to me. It can be very distracting to practice and teach in a common area like the living room. I knew I might need to be flexible on this, and actually I wasn't sure until the day we moved in if the baby grand would even fit in the room I had in mind. The studio is basically a second bedroom on the main floor of our house and there's a semi-tight hallway the piano had to be wheeled through in order to make it in. The upright we knew would be easy but even with the legs off on the baby grand there was a possibility it wouldn't make it. Putting it in the living room was our backup plan.

piano studio























Our piano movers were amazing, as they always are. I have so much respect and admiration for the gentle strength required of piano movers! The guys we hired were pretty sure the baby grand would fit when they took an initial look and sure enough, it glided right in like it was made for the space. The angles were just right. I may have squealed a little with glee and I shot up a prayer of thanks. I had been so nervous about this!

piano moving

Piano Moving













































Now, almost three months later, the studio is set up and functional and I've been absolutely loving it. Both of these instruments mean so much to me. I grew up playing the baby grand and I bought the upright for myself after college when I moved to New York. They're both old (1913 and 1936) with ivory keys and they both have a beautiful sound. Also the acoustics in this room are lovely which I wasn't necessarily expecting. It's such a joy to play and teach here, with all of my books within arm's reach and Bach and Beethoven and St. Cecelia looking on. (Beethoven is above the upright and was handmade by a friend of my Dad's, the Bach family tree was something my Mom and I bought in Bach's hometown in Germany, and St. Cecelia--the patroness of music--is the stained glass on the windowsill and was given to me by my parents.)

piano studio
St. Cecelia stained glass


piano studio

piano studio

piano studio

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By the way, for all of you who work from home or would like to someday work from home: having a professional and beautiful workspace has made such a difference for me and my business. I feel so confident bringing students into this room and teaching them music for an hour. Not that I didn't feel confident or professional when my piano was in the living room but having a designated work area with a closed door and minus the distraction of the rest of the home has been wonderful for me. I know I'm blessed and spoiled with this space!

Thanks for letting me share, friends.




6 comments:

  1. Katie @ Loverly SheAugust 28, 2014 at 9:20 PM

    Love this Kate! We are moving soon and I will have a studio space to myself in our new place - a whole room just for me! haha. Having space to oneself really does make a huge difference in motivation and creativity (especially after having a little one!) I’m hoping to get my little Mason & Reisch piano from my parents after the move - it’s no Steinway but it’s a lovely little instrument and I can’t wait to have it back, esp after 3 years of playing a digital piano most of the time.

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  2. LOVE!! It's beautiful. I'll admit... I'm a little jealous of your two pianos! It's so pro! I can't wait to get a nice grand someday. We've been saving slowly but it will be a while. My husband and I decided that we will never buy an expensive car--instead our "large" investment will be a grand piano. :)

    My "studio" is a secluded part of our living room (our whole downstairs is an open floor plan). It's not as private as I would like but I've sectioned it off from the rest of the living room by putting a large bookcase in between as a wall. It's not perfect, but it helps some kids forget that their parents are there.

    I wish you lots of luck as your studio starts to grow! Can't wait to see more pictures of your home! :)

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  3. So exciting you'll be moving soon, Katie! It sounds like it will be a positive move and I'm glad to hear you'll have some "you" space. I really hope you can have your piano in the new home. There's nothing like being able to have your own instrument nearby and available always. :) xo

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  4. Ha! I love this: "...it helps some kids forget that their parents are there." I didn't mention this in my post but I SO agree and that's a huge reason I love the studio. My piano used to be about five feet from where parents would sit and it was hard for kids to open up and actually communicate during lessons. But your bookcase idea is brilliant. I wish you lots of luck as you save up for a grand piano!! :) Thanks for such a nice comment.

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  5. Having a special place just for music is a blessing indeed! Love the Bach family tree print and that the things you have up have family history. I didn't know that about St. Cecilia but I am not Catholic. I have been wondering how or if you approach students differently who may not play beyond high school in terms of repertoire?

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  6. Hi Sarah, good question! I try to challenge all of my students (and obviously what is challenging to one student may not be for another, so I constantly have to assess that). So regardless of whether or not a student will play beyond high school I give them pieces that will help them to improve, exercise their weaknesses, develop musical maturity, expose them to the classical piano repertoire etc. So I guess the answer is that I don't treat them differently. I have high standards for all of my students! I really think that disciplined music study is character-building, so whether or not they continue to play, my hope is that my students will benefit from being challenged at the piano and encouraged to keep improving.


    Does that make sense? :)

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