When I was just 6 years old, my mom brought me to my first piano teacher. I was so excited! As I entered her home for the first time, however, my excitement turned to confusion and then fear. The entryway was a split level, dark, and both sets of stairs were blocked with baby gates. I very quickly learned that the gates were for the teacher’s huge, Black Lab. I was terrified of dogs. Each week it became an adrenalin-rushed game: hop over the baby gate and run downstairs to the massive antique, out-of-tune piano, with my heart pounding ferociously, before the dog could lunge at me, barking through the gate.
I learned my first recital piece with that teacher. I’ll never forget it: “Oh, Come, Little Children,” given to me on photo-copied paper. It was at that recital that my mom realized none of the students were memorizing their music, or playing the rhythm of the music correctly.
Because my mom was a musician and music teacher herself, I never went back to that house for lessons. And so began my journey of my mom trying out various teachers, always to pull me out after a recital, when her strong musical knowledge told her the teacher was not teaching the correct, foundational skills needed to properly learn the piano. In the interim, my mom would continue to give me lessons at home, until we found a very talented professor of music at Northwestern College who finally set me upon the correct path in 9th grade.
It was out of this experience that motivated me to start a school of music in which students can learn music correctly from the beginning. Most students are not privileged to have two musical parents who can strongly discern if a teacher is qualified and teaching correctly. My passion is to carefully screen each teacher so families at Signature School of Music can TRUST that their experience is the very best possible. Not only are our teachers qualified, but they are friendly, and our studio is bright, cheery, and conducive for learning!
Our mission is to offer top-quality musical experiences for every member of the family!
Jen Hickle, Author
Since I was a little girl playing "school" in the garage with the neighbors, all I've ever wanted to do is teach. I'm passionate about passing on knowledge to other people!