Business Profile: Piano teacher in business more than 40 years

Name of Business/Address: Ann Carr's Piano Lessons, 54 S. Ranney St., Craig, 824-2152

What prompted you to open your business in Craig?

I have been teaching lessons -- in Craig and previously in Washington -- for more than 40 years. We moved to Craig in 1977, and I played the piano for First Christian Church an awful lot. I just picked up a few kids at a time when people would ask me, but after my husband, Dalton, was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease in 1985, we needed to supplement his disability income. At that point, I had as many as 55 kids in lessons. At one time, there were as many 10 teachers in the Craig Music Teachers Association and we used to gather together for joint recitals.

Describe your philosophy of being a good businesswoman.

I like to have fun at what I do. So many teachers are so businesslike. But I like to see the kids really enjoy playing, really learn to love it. So many are not scared to sing. They love to learn. And, I teach them what a "hemidemisemiquaver" is. Now that's always a question on "Jeopardy," and "Hollywood Squares" if they ever get to go.

How do you define the role of your business in the community?

Music is a human necessity. The schools have stopped too many of the music and arts programs. Music is not only the fun part of life; it is a good discipline, it is good mental exercise. I play for churches, weddings, funerals and gatherings. For me, it is not only fun and the way I express myself, but I've managed to make a living at it too.

What is the best part of your job?

Watching the kids develop and watching their skills grow has got to be the best part. My heart just pounds to see them accomplish something they didn't even know they could do.

What is the most challenging part of your job?

Letting my students go is by far the most challenging part. Letting them go on to college or move away. Or worse, when they just quit. That hurts, but I know that they've got some of it in there. Music can really change your life.

What advice would you give a young

person considering opening his or her own business?

Most of the students in this type of business will be children. You have to enjoy the kids. It is so fun to watch them grow and learn -- really how could you not?

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