The renowned Broadway lyricist once wrote (in a lyric), “…if you become a teacher, by your pupils you’ll be taught.” This past week, one of my adult piano students reminded me that a great way to refocus and re-energize one’s playing and musicality is to focus elsewhere! My student had hit a ‘wall’ on both a Beethoven and Bach piece. I sensed that her problem was not really technical, but rather a negative monologue she kept playing within herself: “I’m not good enough; I’m going to make a mistake; my teacher is evaluating everything, etc.” We’ve all experienced this! So, without thinking (clue #1), I had her put away the literature, and I pulled out some fairly easy 4-hand duets for us to play. Immediately, her breathing relaxed, the joy of playing returned, and so did her rhythm and musicality! After about a 1/2 hour of sight-reading these charming pieces, we returned to the Beethoven and Bach works, and in 15 minutes we accomplished with them what may not have happened in an hour! Dear student: Thank you for the happy reminder and enjoyable lesson!