Susan Gault is a fAABI volunteer who teaches piano lessons to adults with an Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) twice a week. She was first introduced to our organisation when a friend invited her to a fAABI event and being a part of it inspired her to share her musical talents and volunteer as a piano teacher.
By day, Susan is a freelance writer. She enjoys playing the piano and practising yoga in her free time. She started piano when she was young and taught it to others from time to time, giving her the perfect background for teaching again.
Susan has been volunteering for only four weeks now, but she has already had a fulfilling experience from interacting with lesson participants. The environment of her piano lessons is relaxed, friendly, social and fun. It is a warm atmosphere for adults with ABI to enjoy each other’s company while also exploring the art of the piano. She gives every student 1:1 attention on the main piano, while the others practise on 3 keyboards and help each other. Susan has already started forming bonds with her students because of the interactive nature of the lessons. She often finds herself connecting with them on a deeper level beyond the lessons during conversations.
A valuable quality Susan brings to her lessons is having an open mind. She did not know what to expect upon starting the lessons, but she found herself settling in nicely by getting to know the participants and listening to their feedback. She considers all of their different skill levels and ideas for every lesson, and this helps participants succeed beyond any limitations they face. Susan’s personable teaching style encourages participants to reach their full potentials. For example, she has noticed that her students are beginning to be able to learn songs on their own.
Susan’s piano lesson participants are learning a lot from her, but she is learning from them as well. Helping adults with ABI learn piano has helped her build up skills like adaptability and flexibility. Now she also has a better understanding of the ABI community as a whole, sharing that she admires how well they have been progressing even though it may not be easy. She plans on continuing to volunteer in the future and sharing her valuable skills with others.
We are grateful for Susan and all she has done for those she teaches. Helping adults with ABI hone in on an enjoyable skill like the piano is a valuable, unique opportunity that would not be available without Susan’s help. There are many opportunities at fAABI for volunteers to make a strong impact in the ABI community; Susan is a perfect example of how sharing your unique talents can help adults with ABI live their lives to the full and genuinely enjoy themselves.