Casual to Confident Piano Player

Unveiling the Musical Journey with Amie Webster

for piano teachers Jun 12, 2023
piano school

Amie Webster, the owner of Motif Music Studios has an incredible story to share with us about her musical journey and her experiences as a piano teacher. 

Before we dive into Amie's story, I must mention that Amie and I share an interesting connection. Though we haven't met in person until now, we connected through our YouTube channels and content creation. It's amazing how online platforms can bring people together, making it feel like we're old friends.

Amie's Musical Story

Amie's journey into teaching music took an unconventional path. As a teenager, she had the privilege of studying with a vibrant music educator in her community who taught music to young children and had several private students, including Amie. One day, this teacher approached Amie with a unique proposition. She needed a vacation and asked Amie if she would be willing to take care of her home and teach her 85 students while she was away. Yes, you read that right—85 students!

A Dive into Teaching 

Without hesitation, Amie accepted the challenge and found herself fully immersed in teaching. Keep in mind that she was just a teenager at the time, studying at the Royal Conservatory of Music (RCM) at grade 7 or 8 levels. Initially, Amie felt a mix of excitement and overwhelm. The sheer number of students and teaching group piano classes that included parents was no small feat. But what made it truly special was the support she received from both the parents and her teacher. Their faith in her abilities motivated Amie to grow as a teacher and provided a solid foundation for her future endeavors.

The Importance of Mentorship 

Amie emphasizes the significance of having great mentors in her journey. Her teacher, despite being in desperate need of a holiday, believed in Amie's potential and entrusted her with the responsibility. This experience taught Amie that people want to support and cheer on passionate and caring teachers. It fueled her desire to keep growing and improving as an educator.

Continuing the Learning Journey

Taking over those 85 students for a short period was just the beginning. Amie's thirst for knowledge led her to pursue further training in music education for children and continue her RCM studies. She understood that being an exceptional teacher required a commitment to lifelong learning. Amie firmly believes that the best instructors are always open to learning new things, constantly enriching their own knowledge base, and passing it on to their students.

Exploring the Business Side 

Although Amie's takeover of those 85 students was a relatively short stint, she gained some insights into the business side of teaching. Her teacher, who was a true professional, had a solid grasp of teaching as a business. She emphasized setting clear policies, managing expectations, and maintaining professionalism. Witnessing her teacher's approach gave Amie valuable lessons and ideas to consider when she eventually started her own studio.

Setting Up a Studio

When the time came for Amie to establish her own music studio, she drew from the experiences and principles she had learned along the way. She knew the importance of setting things up correctly from the start, though she admits there were still plenty of stories and lessons to be learned along the journey.

Lessons Learned from Building a Community Music Education Hub

Lesson 1: Hear the Real Issues 

One of the key lessons Amie learned was the importance of listening and understanding the underlying concerns and questions of both staff and students. By taking the time to truly hear people, she discovered that behind confrontational or frazzled responses, there were often deeper issues at play. This insight allowed her to respond with grace, while still upholding policies and addressing concerns. This lesson reminds us that nurturing a team requires genuine empathy and effective communication.

Lesson 2: Establish and Maintain Policies 

To create a successful community music education hub, it is essential to have clear policies in place. These policies provide structure, ensure accountability, and set expectations for teachers, students, and parents. By implementing strong policies from the beginning, Amie was able to create a respectful and reliable environment for her students. This lesson emphasizes the importance of establishing policies that support the growth and success of both the business and the individuals involved.

Lesson 3: Embrace Continuous Growth 

As a music educator, it is crucial to acknowledge that the learning journey never ends. Amie initially experienced imposter syndrome, feeling behind and anxious about her own musical abilities. However, over time, she learned to embrace the fact that continuous growth is a beautiful aspect of the industry. This mindset allowed her to stay fresh, relatable, and open to furthering her own credentials. It also enabled her to inspire and encourage her students, fostering a culture of lifelong learning within her community.

Lesson 4: Embracing Imperfection and Stepping into the Spotlight 

The creative process is not always smooth sailing, especially when creating content regularly. Amie highlighted how being comfortable with imperfection in front of an audience was a crucial lesson learned. This realization allowed them to let go of the fear of judgment and focus on the joy of creating. By embracing imperfection, we open ourselves up to new possibilities and growth.

Lesson 5: Jumping In and Figuring It Out

Another aspect we explored was the power of taking action and figuring things out along the way. Amie shared her experience of having a great idea and then facing the challenge of implementing it. Often, we find ourselves in similar situations, filled with enthusiasm but lacking technical know-how. However, the willingness to jump in and learn as we go can propel us forward. It's about finding a balance between taking action and acquiring the necessary skills along the journey.

Highlighting Composers and Fostering Musical Appreciation

Amie has a unique approach to teaching music by bringing composers directly into the studio. Through her YouTube channel, "Motif Music Studios," she organize live streams called "Coffee with Composers." This initiative allows students to experience a live conversation with composers, gaining insights into their creative process. By highlighting composers' works and fostering a deeper connection between students and the music they learn, our guest brings a fresh perspective to music education.

The Ripple Effect of Supporting Fellow Creatives

One recurring theme throughout our conversation was the importance of supporting fellow creatives. Amie emphasized the ripple effect created by this support. As piano teachers, we discovered that supporting other creatives broadened their own musical horizons and deepened their appreciation for the creative process. By supporting others, we contribute to the growth and vitality of the creative industry as a whole.


It's essential to find joy in what we do and be comfortable with the learning process. Stepping outside our comfort zones allows us to discover new possibilities and grow both personally and creatively. So let's take the leap, learn along the way, and foster a community of support for creatives everywhere.

To watch "Coffee with Composers" or get in touch with Amie, visit their YouTube channel, Motif Music Studios, where they regularly live stream on Fridays. You can also reach out to them via email at [email protected] or connect on Instagram at Motif Music Studios.

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