Through thick and thin, I always had music and piano lessons that allowed me to escape the pressure and stress of school. You helped me cultivate my artistic side and many of my favorite classical pieces are ones that I learned with you like Brahms’ “Rhapsody in G Minor,” Ravel’s “Sonatine,” Debussy’s “Pour le Piano,” culminating in my senior year when you guided me through the daunting “Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto #1.” For me, playing piano was always out of love for the instrument and I truly thank you for helping me nurture that love for so many years. It will stay with me forever.
Nancie was the best piano teacher I could have had. We had fun. She didn't let me accept mediocrity but didn't sacrifice the fun and our relationship in pursuit of some elusive level of piano greatness. She played at my wedding years after my final recital. Life is busy now, kids, grad school plus a job. I haven't made the time to tell her how much it meant to me that she played at my wedding. How it made me feel connected to that time long ago when I would sit in the calm quiet of Nancie's studio, in the space before she arrived, and tap out some soft chords. Not imagining possibilities. Just being.
Nancie, now that I have started teaching lessons, I can only aspire to the level of instruction you provided me. How well I remember working our way backwards through pieces, going over difficult fingerings and articulations, getting frustrated and antsy and arching my back to the floor over the piano bench. Now I can appreciate your patience with me! And of course your expertise with the repertoire, knowing which pieces were suitable for my level, and then sight reading them perfectly so I could choose what I was most inspired by. From Hot Cross Buns to the Circle of 5ths, we explored classical, jazz, and even my own songs. Your recitals were always so perfectly planned and put together. Definitely a good motivation for practice as well! I remember how nervous I would get to perform and then that feeling of accomplishment when everyone is clapping. Many of my students do not seem excited when I arrive. After all, playing piano takes practice, focus, and hard work. I tell them that I was the same way until one day everything just clicked and I was caught by the beauty of the music. I cannot thank you enough for believing in me and for giving me my greatest tools of expression.
Zachary Sorgen, piano teacher and leader of band: “Wake the Wild”
I have so many fond memories of piano lessons with Nancie that it’s hard to pick just one! I always enjoyed the short walk to her house and knowing that no matter what else was going on in my life, for the next hour it would be me, Nancie and music. Nancie always greeted me at the door with such a warm smile and made me feel right at home. We’d usually share a laugh or two over funny little things and even when I didn’t do the best job or when I didn’t practice enough, Nancie was always encouraging and sweet.
I still play the piano and people who don’t know I play are sometimes very impressed. It’s a skill and an accomplishment of which I will always be proud. And that’s all thanks to Nancie!!