A Story of … A Passion for Music & Piano

Dublin Elementary’s Aren Lim has a Passion for Music and the Piano
Rich Boschetti, DPIE Academy Director
October 24, 2019

In this Fall's After School Program, 5th grade Dublin Elementary teacher, Aren Lim decided to put her passion for Piano into practice and introduced a “Piano for Beginners” class at Dublin Elementary School.  Asked why she was willing to take on the challenge of teaching 10 young wannabe pianists to play the piano, Aren said, As long as I can remember, music was very prevalent in my life and I’ve been playing piano since I was in first grade. I hope I can help my students develop a love and appreciation for music while learning to play the piano.”

Ms. Lim, who always wears a smile and radiates energy, was raised in the Bay Area and graduated from Foothill High School and attended Cal Poly San Luis Obispo during her college years and majored in Liberal Studies while also earning a Teaching English as a Second Language (TESOL) certificate. Aren listed her hobbies as swimming, hiking and reading as well as playing piano and shared that, “I can never sit still for a long period of time, so I am always on the go!”

In are recent visit to Ms. Lim’s “Piano for Beginners” class we were impressed with the strategies she has developed to integrate whole class and individual instruction into her program.  Each student has access to their individual Casio Keyboard complete with individual headphones that are plugged into the keyboard so they can hear themselves play without bothering the students near to them.

We asked Ms. Lim several questions about why she made the decision to offer this class to students at Dublin Elementary.

What excites you about teaching your Piano for Beginners course?
Music has always been a part of my life. My brother and I grew up watching movie classics like The Sound of Music and My Fair Lady and playing the piano allowed me to learn and play the beautiful music from those movies. Playing piano has been a life-long passion of mine and I recently successfully completed all music assessments through the Associated Board of Royal Schools of Music.

I believe that learning to play any musical instrument develops self-discipline and resilience while also helping students learn to enjoy the instrument they are playing and appreciate what it is capable of doing
,” said Aren.  “I hope to instill a love and appreciation for music through the course because I think we oftentimes forget the foundations and basics that are required to create a great song.  Every note serves its purpose, its not there by mistake.

What kind of things will students be doing and learning in your class?
Students will be one-on-one with a keyboard and learn different notes, how to count, and proper hand posture.  We will be learning songs through a music book which does a fantastic job of building a solid foundation.  Learning to play can be tedious at times, but practice helps hone various skills and hopefully students will choose to move forward in learning the piano.  

Because we are using headphones, it affords me the opportunity to visit each student in the room and hear them play for me so I can work with them individually.  Then I can have all the students play the same song together and its interesting to see how they become more aware of not only how they are playing but how their peers are playing as well.

At the end of your 10 weeks of instruction, what are you hoping the kids will take away from your class?
Learning to play an instrument benefits students in many ways. First of all, I hope students will have fun with music, be proud of what they achieve and learn to appreciate the discipline it takes to play an instrument. I want them to learn the power of music and how it can bring people together. Mastering any skill requires extreme amounts of patience and I hope that through learning to play the piano, they will apply the same character traits to anything that comes their way in school, at home or in life.

Ms Lim is offering a Piano for Beginners class in the Winter After School Program at Dublin Elementary - click here for more details.