Ms. Sue Tomlin, Piano Teacher at Turner’s Keyboards

Ms. Sue Tomlin, Piano Teacher at Turner’s Keyboards

We are so excited to introduce you to one of our newest piano teachers, Sue Tomlin.

Sue started teaching piano lessons at Turner’s in June 2021. We sat down with Sue and learned a bit about what inspires her teaching style.

Question: “When I am an adult, I would like to be a musician.  Is that a crazy aspiration?”

Answer: “Yes.  Being an adult is overrated.  Be a musician.  You’ll have more fun!”

We love this response from our newest piano teacher!  We are excited for you to meet Sue Tomlin.

Sue is enthusiastic about teaching and the adventure of learning.  Sue attributes much of her musical education and experience to her mother, Martha Tomlin, and her own piano teacher, Hazel Rankin of Minden, Louisiana.

Martha Tomlin, Sue's Mother

Martha Tomlin, Sue’s Mother

Sue said her mother “made a habit of driving her children many, many miles to wherever the best teacher was teaching.”

Mrs. Rankin seems like she was the best teacher because she taught Sue the art of the piano, and she shared some valuable life lessons through her teaching.

“Every week at my piano lessons my teacher, Hazel Rankin, would state her convictions.  The following quotes ring loud and clear in my ears…. and in my life.” -Sue Tomlin

1) Piano is the foundation of all other instruments.  Learn to play the piano, and any other instrument you want to learn will be so much easier.” -Hazel Rankin

Sue treasured this piece of advice from Mrs. Rankin.  Not only did Sue master the piano, but she also studied the viola, oboe, bell lyre, organ, violin, fiddle, accordion, lap dulcimer, hammered dulcimer, cello, and harp.

Hazel Rankin

Hazel Rankin, Sue’s piano teacher

2) “Music will open doors and take you places you would not go otherwise.” -Hazel Rankin

Sue took advantage of the doors that opened for her throughout her musical education and career, soaking in the learning opportunities and travel experiences.

Sue received a full scholarship to Hidden Valley Music Camp in Carmel Valley, California, and she studied music with The Governor’s Honors Program at Wesleyan College in Macon, Georgia.  She also was involved with The Swannanoa Gathering in Swannanoa, North Carolina, first as a participant and then as an instructor.

Sue served as the music director and pianist for the production of Hair at Theatre Macon in Macon, Georgia.  She was a pit orchestra member with The Mule Barn Summer Theatre in Tarkio, Missouri.  Sue also served as pianist, choir accompanist, and leader of the World Beat Band at Jubilee Community Church, among many other performance and instructional opportunities.

3) “No one is ever glad they stopped learning the piano.  Later in life they always say, ‘I wish my mom hadn’t let me quit.  Think where I would be if I’d stuck with it.” -Hazel Rankin

Here are Sue’s thoughts on this piece of advice: “Oh, the joys!  The friendships!  The cool people!  The cool music!  The opportunities!  The memories!  The POSSIBILITIES!”

We must agree with Sue and Mrs. Rankin, and we are thankful Sue never stopped learning the piano!

Lastly, Mrs. Rankin would emphasize her most important point by saying:

4) “Someone may be able to play a beautiful one-hour recital, but in church if they are asked to sight read a hymn or at a party to unexpectedly be asked to play Happy Birthday, they can’t do it.  THAT is NOT being a MUSICIAN.” -Hazel Rankin

“So….I perform publicly, can sight read hymns and other music, play Happy Birthday on request, AND play by ear and improvise,” said Sue.

Sue learned many valuable lessons from Mrs. Rankin, and we are so thankful she did!  We are excited for her to share these lessons, along with her knowledge, experience, and enthusiasm, with her students here at Turner’s!

Welcome to the Turner’s family Sue! We are so happy to have with us. Click here to learn more about piano lessons at Turner’s Keyboards.