In January of 2019, at the age of 31, I was diagnosed with a rare type of blood cancer. The treatment was going to be intense, physically exhausting, and the damage to my fine motor skills would be permanent without some form of exercise during treatment – my oncologist recommended piano lessons, as it was minimally physically straining and I could practice at my own pace.
Turns out cancer treatment is really expensive, and so are piano lessons. You know what else – out of everyone I talked to Andy was the only experienced and qualified professional who was willing to work within my financial constraints. He was always available to answer my question in a reasonable, provided 1:1 lessons weekly, never became frustrated when treatment and lessons conflicted on the schedule. He genuinely cares about me as a person, and is excited when he sees me grow as a musician.
So what was the outcome of all of this – I successfully, over 6 months, made it through treatment with virtually no loss of my fine motor skills. I know all of the major classical scales, 3 major jazz scales, and have a basic understanding of music theory. I can do freeform practice at my own pace, my ability to sight read music is growing quickly, and I now have a skill that my family and friends enjoy.