Train Up A Child Month 5: A Recital for Charity

 I’m really excited to tell you about this month’s Train Up A Child project, which has actually been in the works since August.
Those of you who read my blog regularly or know me in real life know that I’m a piano teacher. I teach 33 students, mostly in a group lesson setting, and I am madly in love with my job and my students.Reason #5,304 that I love where I live is that the community is passionate about volunteering and giving back. We have a beloved local charity provides therapeutic recreational opportunities for children with disabilities. I learned of the organization when it was featured on the TODAY show, shortly after we moved here.

I started to formulate an idea to use my studio to raise funds for them in a recital this year, and met with one of the directors this past August. She told me of an annual camp they hold in our local mountains for children — and their families — who are undergoing cancer treatment. They participate in adventure activity games, campfires, music therapy and crafts during the week. They do not charge families to attend this camp but rely completely on donations to cover the cost.I decided this would be an awesome project to get my piano students involved with. Immediately after lessons began in September, I sent home a letter detailing our first Piano Play-a-thon. Students were instructed to pick anywhere from 1 to 5 of their favorite pieces they had learned to play for an informal recital, and seek out sponsorships for our charity for each of their pieces. The parents were so excited to be involved, as were the students. When I told one of my brand new group classes about the project, one of my sweet, adorable little boys spoke up and said, “I’ve been to that camp! My dad has cancer.” I almost started weeping on the spot.At the risk of sounding like a tiger mom, Yaya has been in piano lessons with me for just a little over a year now (I teach an early childhood piano program). While she will probably start with a different teacher in the next year or two, it’s been fun (and, at times, intolerable) to be her teacher this past year. She was SO geared up to participate in this fundraiser.

She picked five songs, of course. (We had to narrow it down from twelve. You don’t even know.) I knew that if we went door-to-door to the neighbors to seek out sponsorships or if I asked her to call family or friends, my fearless 4-year-old would clam up instantly, leaving me to stutter over myself as I asked people for money for her. So we did this instead:


And posted the picture to Facebook and e-mailed it to grandparents.I wasn’t sure we’d get any sponsors from our cowardly efforts, but lo and behold, we have amazing friends near and far (plus Grammy) who promptly sent their checks for Yaya, who was THRILLED to have raised $120!I put together programs that recognized the sponsors for the recital:

I had 27 students participate in the recital, and they raised $1400 for the camp!  I am SO proud of them.We held our recital this afternoon, on site at the charity that we are sponsoring. I’ll share the video of Yaya playing below, if you care to see it (yes I’m going to be “that mom”). We missed the first part of her going up because she sat on the bench and started playing WHILE THE STUDENT BEFORE HER WAS TAKING HIS BOW. (And don’t mind the noisy Baby in the back ground — whom Yaya waves to. He doesn’t like it when she plays piano without him….)


  1. […] I held a piano recital to raise money for a local charity and shared a list of some of our favorite chapter books. […]

  2. […] taken on a family challenge to participate in one act of service each month, and I enjoy sharing those projects here on our […]

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