April Members of the Month

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Meet the Baltzersen family from Atlanta, Georgia. Mom Allison, dad Jasper and their daughters Annika who is eight and Ava who is six. Allison is a working and homeschooling mom who is now working her way through the BusyMoms program.
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What’s your musical background?
I  [Allison] took piano lessons as a kid.  My first teacher was fun and instilled a love of the piano.  My second teacher was dry and drummed that love right back out of me.  So when I graduated high school, I said good-bye to the instrument until last year (20 years later!) when my daughters decided to start piano lessons and I suddenly got the itch to pick up playing again.

Anything fun or unique you’d like to share about your family?
My husband works on movies and we have moved around a lot in the last 10 years, zigzagging from coast to coast and even up to Canada for his work.  We packed light so never considered adding a heavy piano to our home.  Thankfully, Atlanta has a booming film industry right now which gives us confidence we can stay here long enough to plant some roots.  So last year we prayed about it and decided to take the leap and get a piano.  We now view that piano not just as a musical instrument but as a symbol of stability.  It has really become a special part of our house and it brings joy when it gets played multiple times every day.
How do you structure piano lessons/practice for your family? Any tips to share?
The promo video for busymomsdopiano.com cracks me up because when I first started my lessons, I’d try to practice during the day while the kids were going wild around me and it was exactly as chaotic as the video.  While the kids can practice their piano during the day, I finally found the right time for me to practice my own lessons was at bedtime.  While my husband reads the girls their bedtime story, I plop my ipad down on the piano and take 20 minutes to myself in the quiet of the night to practice without distraction.
How did you learn about Busy Moms/Kids Do Piano?
As a homeschool mom with a telecommuting job, I quickly discovered in-person lessons weren’t going to work with my schedule so I was happy to learn about the Back in the Saddle lessons on busymomsdopiano.com that I can do anytime I want.  I was skeptical at first, concerned I’d get stuck and not have a human there to help me.  But Carly is AMAZING at anticipating and answering every question I could possibly think of in her lesson videos so I can confidently learn pieces at home on my own.  I also love how she adds music history, theory and the WHYs behind techniques into the videos in such a delightful way.  Like my first piano teacher way back when, Carly makes piano playing FUN!
Do you have any stories you’d like to share about your musical journey with piano lessons?
One of my favorite piano songs is “Where Everybody Knows Your Name,” the theme song from Cheers.  It’s played best as a duet so I asked my older daughter if she’d learn it with me and she did!  We sound pretty good together.  Learning duets is a neat process of building trust and finding mutual rhythm.  It’s a fun bonding activity and I now look forward to finding other pieces we can play together.
What is your goal with learning to play the piano?

My long-term piano goal is to overcome my fear of playing in public by one day playing a piece at my church.  Eek! The idea still makes me nervous but after doing just 10 of the Busymoms Back in the Saddle lessons, I can already feel my confidence improving.  When I’m done with these, I’m excited to also take Carly’s Piano in Worship Course which will help me reach my goal.

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