PPP058: Use Your Talent for the Good of Others (aka Hurricane Harvey Relief – How you can help)

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Hurricane Harvey was a Category 4 hurricane that made landfall on the coast of Texas Thursday, August 24

In less than four days, the storm dropped 40 inches of rain in south Texas, whose average amount of annual rainfall is 49.72 inches. The resulting flooding has caused massive damage to the homes and businesses in that area.

I am a proud Texan, born and raised. Texas is a BIG place and my home is many miles away from the storm and flooding. My family is safe. However, I have many personal friends and piano teacher friends who live in the Houston area. I’m hearing so many stories of their rescues and loss.

My brother, Terry, is a ranking official in law enforcement for the state of Texas, stationed close to Houston. His home and family are safe and dry but he has been working many long hours coordinating evacuation and rescue efforts. His work will continue as he assists with cleanup and rebuilding the community.

How can we help if we are so far away?

I’ve chosen to give monetary donations online through two organizations that I trust. I highly recommend that you make your own investigation and give to organizations and local charities that you trust.

MTNA.org – Music Teachers National Association has a benevolence fund designed to assist music teachers with replacing their teaching materials. When you follow the link, the first option to click is “MTNA Benevolence Fund” then scroll down to include your contact and payment information. There are optional boxes where you can indicate that your gift is in memory or honor of someone. You can name your piano kid, your piano teacher, Hurricane Harvey survivors, or simply leave the boxes blank.

Support the MTNA Benevolence Fund here.

(If you are a music teacher needing assistance from MTNA, call their national office at 888-512-5278.)

Samaritans Purse.org – Co-founded by Franklin Graham, son of Christian evangelist, Billy Graham, Samaritan’s Purse “mobilizes staff and equipment and enlists thousands of volunteers to provide emergency aid to victims of tornadoes, hurricanes, wildfires, floods, and other natural disasters in the United States. We often stay behind after our initial response to rebuild or restore houses for needy families.”

Make a donation through Samaritan’s Purse here.

Operation Christmas Child is another program that enables us to give generously to children around the world.

How can I include my Piano Kid?

Tell them how you have given. Let them know about the organization you supported and how they will use the money to help others. Our children don’t know about these opportunities unless we tell them.

Organize a Practiceathon. If your child is participating in the #3020 September Practice Challenge, have them invite friends and family to sponsor their practice. A gift of $1.00 per practice would provide $20.00 in relief. $5.00 per practice provides $100.00!

In the podcast, I mentioned a Walk-a-thon that I was involved in when I was younger. Here is the letter my PaPa Truett sent me with his pledge.

“To our Dear grand-daughter, Shelly. Ma-Ma and I are real proud of you, and we thank the Lord he gave us a grand-daughter like you. The reading concerning your feet was real cute, we know you must have gotten tired and sore feet and legs, but you endured and I know God will bless you for it. We love you very very much, Pa-Pa & Ma-Ma PS The (2) dollars is a special reward for you.”



I don’t know the results of that fund raiser, whether anyone’s life was changed through the donation. I have faith that they were; I have confidence that God blessed the effort. No matter what the result was on the receiving side, I was blessed to be on the giving side. Your child will receive the same intrinsic reward – the good feeling in their heart knowing that they helped someone in need.

Your child will receive the same intrinsic reward – the good feeling in their heart knowing that they helped someone in need.

Help your piano kid manage nervous butterflies

When piano students play for others, they often get feelings of anxiety and have butterflies in their stomach. This is normal. The way to deal with these feelings is not to avoid being in those situations; it is to take small steps toward learning to manage them.

My studio hosts Piano Parties throughout the school year. These performance classes help students gain experience performing for a smaller audience of their peers. In December we also provide holiday music at the local retirement center. All these events build on each other to give my students opportunities to learn how to manage their nerves. Ultimately, they are prepared to play in the annual spring recital at UT Tyler on their beautiful Steinway grand piano.

Your piano teacher intentionally offers similar opportunities for the same reasons. Take advantage of any opportunity to help your piano kid overcome performance anxiety. They will face other occasions when they will need to address a crowd: book report at school, speech in college, toast at a wedding. Start now by prepping them to face those future challenges with ease.

Help your child imagine the audience’s point of view. Have them imagine if they got the chance to attend a concert of their favorite performer. When the concert began, what if the singer came on stage with their head down low, shoulders slumped and acting like they are scared to sing. How would the audience feel?

What if the performer sang or played but acted like they were bored by the music like they wished they could be anywhere else. The audience would become angry and want their money back!

The same thing is true for the audiences your piano kid will play for. You child needs to learn to present their music to the audience as a gift. A gift they have carefully prepared and proudly present.



You can also find opportunities for your piano kid to share their music for the good and enjoyment of others.

Play for grandparents.

Play at school functions or in their music class.

Play at church.

Play at your local retirement center.

Join the #3020 Challenge

September practice challenge

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