Three of my piano teachers were very influential in my decision to pursue the arts. Earliest was Miss Johnson, my piano teacher in the early 1940s. My brother and I studied with her and were privileged to go with her to hear the Chicago Symphony (conducted by Frederick Stock) at Symphony Hall, Chicago. These experiences probably fostered my love for piano and orchestral music. The second teacher was Floyd Robbins in Lincoln, Nebraska. I would ride the trolly into town to take my lesson every Saturday morning. He introduced me to Chopin, who remains a life-long favorite of mine. My third teacher was Vivien Bard, with whom I studied for five years during my college years at Indiana State University. She taught me many techniques she had learned as a student of Joseph Levine. All three of these teachers were completely dedicated to music and to teaching, and instilled in me a love for the same things.
Of course I had other piano teachers for shorter periods of time who also influenced me. I grew up in an art-centered family where my grandparents, parents, siblings, children and grandchildren, uncles, aunts, and cousins all participated in the arts of one kind or the other. So pursuing a life in the arts was almost a given. If I had a 'do-over', would I do it again? Of course I would! What else is there?
There is always something new in the arts, something to be discovered, a new color, timbre, combination, something to learn. There is always a new dedicated student willing to learn and explore.
My favorite place? Probably my office/studio. I have had eight (8) different offices on campus: War Memorial Gym, PAB, Patton, Lane, and Squires. Squires is the best but not perfect. It is small, but I do have almost everything needed to work, prepare, listen, consult, have a cup of coffee, meet with students and faculty.