Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Celeste Stott: Music and the Karate Kid

Celeste Stott: Creating Musicians in Montana
Hi, Everyone!  I am Celeste Stott from Choteau, Montana.  I live at the base of the Rocky Mountains.  We have a cattle ranch about 20 minutes from a tiny town of 1800 people.  Choteau is amazing: the people value music education and make sacrifices to participate.  My studio is unique because I teach in my generous in-law’s home so that my clients do not have to travel quite so far.
I have been married almost 22 years and have 4 children: 2 boys and 2 girls.  I love to scrapbook, sing, play the piano, play the violin and dance.  I love taking pictures of the Rocky Mountain Front, especially on horseback.  My favorite pictures I take are of my children.  I love to cook and bake for others.  A few of my bucket list items are to go hang gliding, play the cello and the harp.  
My sister introduced me to Let’s Play Music in 2005.  When I talked to her on the phone, I would hear my very young nieces and nephews playing advanced piano pieces.  This program called to me and I knew I wanted it for my own children, too.  I saved my pennies and trained in 2008 and started teaching 4 classes. I was thrilled to have had such a supportive response from my music-loving community. My 3 oldest children had the privilege to graduate from my first group of students and have continued in piano, singing and playing other various instruments.  
A Blessing to Children in the Area
I trained to become a Sound Beginnings teacher with the first group to train in 2012.  What a gift this program has been to my studio and children in this area. I am thrilled every day to see the benefits of learning during the music-learning window.  There is no substitute for teaching ear-training during this window of time when young children are most sensitive to it. My daughter is in her second year of Sound Beginnings and loves it. I could tell when she was a tiny baby that she had already learned a great deal about her voice and music.  I am convinced that all my teaching and singing during her pregnancy formed permanent hard wiring in her brain for music aptitude.  She truly was a little mocking bird, matching my pitch as early as 5 months old! This was phenomenal to witness!  I am blessed to see this happen for other children every day.  

My True Passion
From the time I was tiny, I knew I wanted to be a teacher. I am thrilled to have found my true passion: teaching music to children.  Children are my favorite people ever and they are pure joy to have in my life.  They are why I do what I do.  My love of music and my conviction of the importance of children learning music is the second reason I teach Let’s Play Music and Sound Beginnings. I have taught piano and violin for over 20 years to anyone who wanted to learn and am blessed to have these two programs that have taken my teaching to a new level.
Music for 'The Karate Kid'
I love how Let’s Play Music teaches music with music, uses as many senses as possible, uses the full body, by “experiencing” music first and it is all done through play!  I am blown away at how in a matter of 24 nonconsecutive months, children are playing in 5 different keys, composing, transposing, improvising, and have a knowledge of chords and their structure!  I love how sneaky we are about teaching theory in a fun way! 

I had a parent compare LPM to “The Karate Kid".  Mr. Miyagi was training Daniel-san in Karate when Daniel only thought he was painting a fence and waxing a car.  This parent was expressing that the things LPM teaches are preparing children to be a whole musician, one step at a time, even if they don’t understand how it will all come together.  I am able to see how these tiny steps have made a difference in my violin and private piano students that have become complete musicians in Let’s Play Music as a primer to further study.  It makes all the difference in the world!
The most rewarding part of teaching Let’s Play Music is that I get to be a part of sharing my love of music with another person.  I know music will be my student’s life-long friend and will help all of their cognitive learning.  
Pay It Forward

My vision is for my students is for them to love music and share it with others.  Talk about paying it forward!  That is my dream….to make the world better by sharing the gift of music!  I hope my students will leave my studio equipped with confidence, a great self-esteem, concrete musical skills and a desire to continue to compose and play music forever.  I adore every one of my students and I am grateful to have them a part of my week!  Their unconditional love, cute stories and things they say and enthusiasm are priceless to me.
-Celeste Stott, LPM Teacher

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