Photo Credit: Ann Marsden
Tuesday evening is the best part of my week, as I have my weekly piano lesson with Stephanie Wendt, my teacher for the past 6+ years. Last night's lesson was bittersweet, as it was my final regular lesson, for awhile anyway, with Stephanie; next week I'll begin my studies at Hamline, with a new teacher, learning new things.
Stephanie is an extraordinary pianist, and if there's a word more hyperbolic than extraordinary, she's that as a person. Kind, genuinely caring, insightful, she's also an amazing technician, a compelling performer, and the most "complete" teacher I've ever had. I am a different (better) pianist than I was six years ago, and I owe that to Stephanie's ability to force me--ever so gently--to really listen to what I'm playing, and to decide how I want a note to sound before I play it.
The person I study with next starts at a deficit simply by not being Stephanie. I will keep an open mind; I'm eager to explore new perspectives, to continue moving forward as a pianist. But the voice in the back of my head, the arbiter of my musical good sense, will always be the distinctive, Australian-accented, warm alto voice of Stephanie Wendt.