• Loren Pudlewski

Musical Beginnings

As I lie here trying to fall asleep, I decided to write a bit tonight... more for me than anyone else, or rather something for my children to read one day when they are older and reminiscing on my social media outlets... But if you happen to be interested, enjoy! I began piano lessons at the age of 6 years old. I did not start because I asked for lessons, but rather because my father was handed down a baby grand piano over a coin toss when I was that age. It was between him and a cousin and he won. I immediately was enrolled with lessons. While the family heirloom is no longer in the family (I moved away and at the time my parents needed to downsize we just could not afford to ship it to Florida) I am so grateful we earned that coin toss. It unfolded chapters that never would have come about without that coin toss. The first piano teacher I had was from Holland. She was a stickler and super strict on practice, and also had me run with her around our neighborhood a few times. (She was a marathon runner). Not only did she came to our home for my lessons but also came to some of my birthday parties. I will always remember her. My second piano teacher was a mother/teacher down the road when my original teacher had moved away. She was less strict, but perfect for what I needed during my early teenage years. It was also super helpful I could walk to her house. She later moved to the next town over and we had to begin driving to her again, which eventually led to a break. The third piano teacher I had passed this past year. He was also my intro to Music Theory and composition teacher in high school and is the one who 'trained me up' for auditions into college. He was a chorus director, piano teacher, and mentor in really getting me to understand and love music theory. ( His wife was also my first string instrument teacher when I was 10 years old and began viola, so I had already known the family. I drove to their house for lessons and paid for them with money I earned for working. ) My fourth piano teacher, passed a few years ago after battling a courageous fight with brain cancer. She was my college professor and pedagogy instructor. She challenged me in ways I didn't think I could, but also helped me see that I was never meant to be a "single instrument" person. She was probably the toughest on me - but respectfully so when you are working on obtaining a music degree. I have every and any piece of music and lesson book since I was 6. Included all the instruments I've learned. It is a piece of me I will always have though I have begun purging other music texts. After college, I never took another music lesson (yet - never say never and I've always wanted to learn the Saxophone). I've also only had the same weighted keyboard since moving away from NY 16 years ago and am so ready for a piano in my life again - but man life throws in so many wrenches along the way that just doesn't allow it to happen. The keyboard will continue to do for now, and the kids and I have started back up on lessons of their own. I've taught private piano lessons since I was 16 years old. As soon as I could drive, I began teaching. I've always been the one to travel to everyone's homes and teach within the walls where both children, and parents are most comfortable (well, usually - I have taught at a few music stores and studios as well). I taught in NY, I taught in NC, and I've taught in Florida. I've had a total of 17 private (piano) students through the years (not all at once as I always worked full time doing otherwise while doing lessons).

I stopped teaching my last piano students when I was put on bedrest to save Dexter from premature labor 8 years ago. I was confined to a couch or bed minus appointments for 12 weeks until he was born, and then was a NICU mom. Not only did I leave my career I was growing, but I left my side passion I've had since I was 16 behind because of a diagnosis of cerebral palsy, needs of physical and occupational therapy, and to become a stay at home mother. Nothing I ever planned on. I grieved that transition. I understand things will always happen as they may and I am grateful for my children so much - but that is still a part of this story. However as now 8 years have passed, I am so grateful for every blessing in disguise that has taken place continuing me onwards into my life's story, still unfolding everyday. Well in recent months, music has continued coming back to me. It has become a part of my social media management, and I have been approached as well for private lessons. Due to my own personal "lack of practice" I have not allowed myself to take on new students or private clients yet and sadly have turned down friends who've asked because of it. I've been working on growth and overcoming whatever is holding me back, and maybe my Grandmother was able to kick that for me when I was home in Buffalo over the holidays. Either way, we'll see. I do believe people can grow into new passions and outlets of creativity. I am enjoying my own journey of self discovery and trying new things right now as well. Writing, being a big one for me as of late. I often wonder if music has always been there as a way to process emotions prior to having the courage to write them down. Almost in a mysterious sort of way. I've always believed that if you get to know the types of music and songs a person enjoys and listens to, that you can get to know them more intimately. Almost like reading the words people write, but in code. The picture below was me playing a gorgeous Steinway ($150,000 pricetag) that Diana Krall (look her up if you haven't heard of her yet) played in Orlando in 2011 for a charity event. Way out of my price range for a lifetime and no possible place to have it, but was such a thrill for me. ♡ It was during a time when I was finding myself - much like I am currently doing again today... Much like I feel like we all, as humans, will do throughout our entire life and chapters on our journey. #ramblingsofLoren #memoirsformykids #writingformyself

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