Heather is very knowledgeable and you can tell her heart is passionate about her students!!! She is simply amazing!!! Ashley M.
My son and daughter has taken music and piano lessons for almost a year, and Heather has been a wonderful teacher to them as they have enjoyed it. She is a caring and knowledgable teacher who knows how to make learning interesting for the kids. Thank you Heather! Don Nguyen
In addition to piano lessons, Heather offers enrichment classes to homeschool students on Wednesdays. My child loves learning at Suzuki Academy. Last year he attended Spanish, art, and writing. I think there is also science and history available. He had so much fun. And I was amazed how much he learned and the projects that he brought home. Heather is a wonderful teacher -- empathetic and organized. Sandra Bitragunta
My daughter has been taking piano lessons with Heather for almost a year and she loves them. Heather is a great teacher and knows how to make the learning process really fun. Marcela Lagunes
Heather is a passionate piano teacher. She is doing such a amazing job running her studio. She always find innovative ways to teach my 5 yrs old kid and make learning fun! Karen Shia
We just got home from the PTA meeting and Elizabeth won First Place for her musical composition. She was so surprised and very excited. We want to thank you again for all of your help in recording the piece. It goes without saying, but I won't let it, that I want to thank you for helping to instill a love of music in Elizabeth. You are a very gifted teacher. Paige
Amanda and Johnathan continue to develop their musical talents and perform for others whenever possible. Johnathan is participating in his elementary school talent show next week. He is very excited.
Last week Amanda was part of the 'entertainment' for her middle school's orchestra dinner. Her chorus director selected her and several other chorus members to perform for the orchestra members and their families. Earlier this year, Amanda was one of only 2 pianists chosen to participate in her middle school talent show (41 acts tried out; 16 were chosen to participate).
You should be very proud of your efforts to guide and inspire your students to reach their highest potential. Sheila
First, my best wishes to you with the baby. How exciting! Only one week. I am amazed that you managed to teach students all this time!! Good for you.
Yes, Elizabeth was a runner up at the Central District Competition ( It's a bit different from Bach Competition. To my mind harder because students have to pass theory and sight reading tests in order to participate and play 3 pieces). As a result, she is competing at the State level in the Fall. She is going to play Chopin Mazurka, Haydn C Major sonata 3rd movement, Kabalevsky Sonatina 3rd movement. I am quite happy to have her as my student. She is a fast learner. Thanks for referring her to me. And also thanks for teaching her all these years. Ruta
Clearly, my girls love and adore you. They will complain about practicing, especially Celeste but somehow, all that melts away when they're in your studio. You bring out the best and that's priceless.
As I've shared in the past, my piano teacher was mean and ugly. I never felt I was good enough and was scared if I wasn't ready. I don't think the girls ever felt that way about you and that means so much to me. See you next week! We love you! Monica and Clark Glave
Wanted to share that Celeste will be playing Sonatina this Sunday at our church for the prelude. She feels so confident!!! She recently decided that she was "too old and tall" for the children's choir (can't blame her since she was the only 5th grader) so our amazing music director is working with her solo for the time being. After their first meeting today and Celeste played some songs, she asked her to play in church. Martha was the music teacher at St. Catherine's for over 10 years and she recently started teaching at Orchard House. She is such a gifted musician. I'd love for you to meet her someday. Anyway, thank you for being such a patient wonderful teacher, I know I've had my moments too. It's at times like these that I'm so proud and know it's worth it. Monica Glave
Hi Heather, I hope that this message finds you well and that you are adjusting to your life in California. I heard from Laurel that the move went well and that you are teaching piano again. I can’t tell you how happy that makes me as I think that you are a gifted teacher. I wanted to share with you that Elizabeth competed this past weekend at the Virginia Music Teachers Association conference in Winchester. She won first place in state for her level. She was so nervous before she performed, but she did a great job. It was amazing to hear the talent over the weekend that all of the children possess. It is very humbling to hear how well all these young people can play. Piano is such an important part of Elizabeth’s life and I truly believe that you were instrumental in making her so passionate about it. I just wanted to share her success with you and thank you again for all of the years that you spent teaching her. I’m sure your new students will also thank you too one day Paige
Dear Heather, Thank you for your email with the attachment. No words can describe the gratitude I feel in my heart towards you. You have brought out so much goodness in Justin. You have encouraged him and made him believe in himself. He was rather nervous over the whole graduation recital, so much so that he didn't want any of his friends to be present! I still cannot believe that my "baby" played all those songs in book 2!!! All your piano students are so blessed to have your guidence and patience. We are so sorry to have to say goodbye to you after this summer. Margaret
Raymond & I are so grateful to you for teaching Justin. You know how to bring out his best,which is priceless to us! We have so much to thank you for, Heather. As I mentioned to you before, Justin will continue to take lessons from you for as long as you want to teach in Richmond. Justin & I will see you on Wednesday. Margaret
I am glad you are all safe and sound, and glad that you are teaching again. You have such a gift and we miss you already. Matthew will start with a new teacher the last week of Sept. I will let you know how it goes. He is rusty right now - he is always more motivated when he is working on new things and being challenged by a teacher. Take care and keep in touch! Laurel Nelson
Everything's going to work out. I know it is. God has put his hand on this union and so far, many little details have been falling into place so that I can feel comforted and supported. I am very positive that all the students will have a piano teacher come September that you will be happy with. Thank you for all of your positive feedback, support and love over the last 7 years. Some of you started with me downtown at VCU, some in the guest house of the Whitlock's home, some started when I moved into the Village and some when I moved here to Charles St. Whenever you entered my life, I have become fondly attached to your children and to your families. I have visited with you weekly and you have become my friends and my family away from home. I could not have thrived emotionally without the ties I have formed with each of you. I know that teaching your children and teaching music has been a blast of pure love in my life. With deepest affections, Heather
Dear Heather, What a kind, thoughtful e-mail. I have only one small observation. I think "Suzuki teacher" does not accurately describe your role! Please place an ad for "Suzuki Angel." Much more than piano lessons, I find your time with the girls to be a spiritual experience and an inspiration. They are a model for good parenting or just plain loving of young or vulnerable human beings.
I am so delighted that someone will be lucky enough to have you as a wife, and hopefully various little people will have the joy of being your children! I wish you all the best in this newest adventure. Let us know if we can help. Kristin
Please forward a mailing address to me and I will have the kids send you letter periodically. They would love to stay in touch with you. You were such a vital part of their lives and we all miss you very much . . . Julie
You are so welcome. We do feel that you are a rare find and just feel blessed we have you for the time we do. Jodi Strange
As I told you after our first lesson, we are all enjoying getting back into piano lessons. It is wonderful to share in the experience of playing music with my children and your approach to our lessons enhances our enjoyment all the more. It is so nice to see them taking turns sitting down at our piano working through their pieces. And your awards for practicing are motivating them in a positive way as well. Jennifer
Heather, I just wanted to thank you again for accommodating our schedule this week. My kids were bubbling over in the car after their lessons last night. Rachel came home and sat down at our piano and played through the entire "Primer A" piano book we have! Her dad was quite impressed. He had heard them grumbling about going earlier to their first lessons in the afternoon and reminded them that one of his major regrets from childhood is that he did not learn to play an instrument and we were trying to give them that opportunity...
Anyway, I didn't think it was possible to find a teacher as capable and kind as the one we had in PA, but I have to tell you, based on last night, I think our experience with you will top that one as we go along! And I am also looking forward to the opportunity to learn a bit myself. I too have always wanted to play and I really enjoyed helping the kids learn and practice the Suzuki pieces.
What I love about Suzuki is how they can progress to more complex two-handed pieces and get a lot of gratification from the sound they are creating without having to know all the music on the page first. Of course they need to learn to read music too, but it's wonderful that their progress is not dependent on their ability to connect the page and the keys. Parker in particular really took to playing by ear, as you probably gathered last night. He would sit at the piano and work on each piece until he'd master it as he went through book one and I could see his satisfaction when he could put the two hands together and make it sound like the CD.
I love the idea of the graduation recital. Please let me know what you are thinking in terms of timing because I may try to invite some out of town relatives.
Have a very Merry Christmas and we will see you on January 9th. Jennifer
Hi Heather, Thank you for your kind words and all the info you gave me. We'll try to continue the good work you had been doing with them and I will keep you informed of their progress. If you ever return for a visit or for judging I am sure they will be happy to see you and to perform for you. You are a very good teacher, proficient and loving. I wish you all the best in your new home and studio. Best wishes to you, your family and of course the NEW BABY! Vivien
Hey! I've been meaning to email you about everything that has been going on with me lately! Yes, I have one student - his name is Graham and he's going into the 6th grade. Basically I ended up teaching because I got sick of trying to find a new teacher. Anyway I do half hour lessons at his house... he actually lives in Varina... and eveything is working out perfectly. Right now we're working on French Children Song. He is actually dyslexic and going into Riverside but I don't think it impairs his ability too much. He really is a great student and has progressed amazingly. I think he is just a little bit slower at putting hands together than some other children might be, but it doesn't really matter. My mom did tell me that our friend Rachel was told to stop piano lessons when she entered Riverside, so hmmm we'll see what happens with that. I am looking at maybe getting two more students... that is really all I can take in my busy schedule.
One of the things I really wanted to tell you though is that I am currently writing a 4,000 word essay for my IB Program this summer and into next year and my focus is basically about how is the Suzuki piano method superior to more traditional methods when it comes to performance, pattern recognition, memory, and the like. In researching this subject at the VCU Library, I was amazed at what I foung about how to teach the method. Every paragraph jolts my memory back to each little exercise we did, the little tricks to help learn, and even the way we broke the pieces up to work on them. You were seriously an amazing teacher... I can't even begin to tell you how much I miss having you as a teacher.
Hmmm... College. Yeah, it would definitely be great to be able to teach all through college and I plan to do that. Sherwood Elder
It has been such a long time since I've talked with you or anyone from Virginia...too long. I heard briefly some of the things that you have been doing in your new piano studio and I am so very proud of your accomplishments. It is obvious to me, that no matter whose student you become, you will be greatly coveted by teachers as you were by me. I have thought about the qualities that create a great person. Sometimes I think it's perseverance, diligence, patience, but first and last, it must be a great heart. Your heart cannot hide who you are, from God or the world. I have always felt that yours was particularly meek, humble and full of thoughtfulness. I know that you will continue to be a good friend to others, a good sister to Siena and a good daughter to your parents. You have a complexity in your soul that will have need of an outlet. I am so glad that piano has been a friend to you in this. The expressiveness with which you have sometimes played has been refreshing and surprising. If you continue to tell the story of your heart through your music, the two of you will grow up together in great beauty and harmony. You will become a reflection of Heavenly Father's love to all that listen. This is what your talent is for, beyond your own growth. It does not matter how simple or complex the piece is, as long as you play with feeling.
With all my heart, Miss Strange Heather Williams to student