WOODS BAY — The soothing sound of a piano can be heard from a home along Highway 35 near Flathead Lake...
“Music is very very meditative you have to be focused and you have to let everything go and that is such a great gift to have right now especially more than any other time that I can think of," said Wendy Reed Miller, a pianist and a teacher.
And for this particular pianist, the sound is often multiplied through the students she teaches.
Miller has given piano lessons for 15 years, but her instruction comes with one catch.
Her students must love music.
“It is most important to me that my students no matter how old they are enjoy it, because otherwise they're just not going to be lifelong piano players," said Miller.
And next to love, Miller wants her students to be disciplined.
“I just want them to have a good foundation I'm kind of a stickler in some ways about old-fashioned ways of doing things," said Miller.
But that old-fashioned sense took a turn in 2020 when the pandemic forced Miller to change the way she teaches.
Suddenly most lessons at Miller's own piano became a virtual call and the faces she knew well were hidden behind a mask.
But the different notes didn't change the entire piece.
"It is different for every person, and I have to have that conversation with them with what they are comfortable with," said Miller.
In fact, Miller has been encouraged and finds it important to give her students a sense of purpose - whether in person or online.
“Sharing music and art in this place, it's not just you know so amazing and wonderful it's inspiring to me,” said Miller.
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