Be that “Special Place”


Right on the tail of my lost-a-student-out-of-the-blue email, the very next day, I received possibly one of the best compliments you could hope to hear from a parent that was completely off-cuff.

This mom almost always sits in on lessons and engages with her children’s practice and learning. As I took a step back from the piano to my bookshelf next to her chair to switch out sightreading cards, she said (and I paraphrase):

*Sigh* I just love coming here. If only I could make my life as orderly and structured as you run your lessons. You know exactly what you’re doing when, it’s like boom-boom-boom. It always smells good in here (I diffuse oils), and it’s always neat and clean.”

Wow! Mama, you have no idea how much you made my day. I’ve always wanted my studio to feel like a place of comfort and like home. I take pride in my space, and as I told her, it takes work and planning for my lessons to run smoothly.

This makes me smile again as I sometimes catch this working mama with her eyes closed in my black leather chair, taking a quick shut-eye or simply enjoying the music-making happening with her children. She’s there to say “good job” when they play especially well for me and to know exactly what’s expected that week.

Less than a day after this mom shared a moment of content in the space I had created for her family, I read The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It by Michel E. Gerber, which wrapped up her feelings spot on:

What most people need, then, is a place of community that has purpose, order and meaning… A place in which being human is a prerequisite, but acting human is essential.

A place where the generally disorganized thinking that pervades our culture becomes organized and clearly focused on a specific worthwhile result.

A place where discipline and will become prized for what they are: the backbone of enterprise of action, of being what you are intentionally instead of accidentally.

A place that replaces the home most of us have lost.

That’s what a business can do; it can create a Game Worth Playing.

It can become that place of community.

It can become that place where words such as integrity, intention, commitment, vision, and excellence can be used as action steps in the process of producing a worthwhile result.

What kind of result?

Giving your customer a sense that your business is a special place, created by special people, doing what they do in the best possible way.




  • Hello Amy,
    I just love these thoughts & expressions re the teaching studio.
    Thanks for sharing. You are amazing!

  • I just realized this was from 2016, but it is still relevant today. I had a Mom who used to sit quietly and sketch during her two daughter’s lessons. She said it was about the only calm in her day. I think what I am learning this year, from several of my new piano teacher friends, is that the sense of community, connection, and purpose as well as good music making is what has helped my small studio thrive and kept many families long term. (Even though I did not start with any type of business plan! I felt like I just kind of learned “on the job” in fits and stops and starts for quite awhile.) I am so grateful for you and this reminder today. Thank you!

    • Absolutely! Yes, it just reminds me so much that while we’re a business we’re also in the business of working with real people with a lot going on in their lives. What we do can impact the people we contact with in ways that we may not have originally ever realized!

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