Natalia Huang is the owner and founder of Natalia Huang Piano Studio with two locations in NYC and Greenwich, CT. When a teacher changed her from hating the piano to wanting to make it her career, she knew teaching piano is her calling. With three children under the ages of five (Juliana is 4, William is 2, and Jasmine is 1!), she enjoys the happy chaos everyday.
1) TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF—DESCRIBE YOUR FAMILY AND YOUR CAREER. WHAT CAUSED YOU TO START YOUR BUSINESS/BLOG/CAREER?
At age ten, I had decided that I was going to be a piano teacher forever. I had hated playing the piano prior, and always dreaded practicing. Then I met an amazing teacher (plus the fact that I wasn’t allowed to quit!), and everything changed since then. Being a full time piano teacher was a no brainer, but becoming a full time studio owner with other teachers working for me was not planned! You know how having children changes you? That is exactly what happened. I could no longer teach out of my apartment with a young child crying in the next room, so expansion was the next thing to do for me to keep my dream job. Now with my extremely supportive husband, my children ages four, two, and one years old – my life couldn’t be more complete (and busy )!
2) SHARE YOUR SECRET TO BALANCING WORK AND FAMILY. IS THERE BALANCE?
Oh, the balance! It is so very difficult. Everyday I struggle with the guilt of needing to spend more time with my children, or that I should have done more work. However, I know that piano teaching completes me, and I am a better mother when I work. Saturdays are sacred to me. We try to plan family fun time on that day. Even if my studio has occasional performances on Saturdays, I bring my family along. For me, they get exposed to music at an early age AND they spend time with me too!
3) SHARE A FUNNY STORY THAT HELPED YOU BECOME A BETTER PARENT AND/OR BETTER AT YOUR JOB.
I used to take such pride when parents told me that their children only listened to me in regards to piano instructions, and never when they tell them to play a certain way. Well, I give myself less credit nowadays since I have children. I realized this – your child will ALWAYS listen to someone else before listening to you, haha!
4) WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR BIGGEST CHALLENGE AND/OR GREATEST REWARD IN THE STRUGGLE FOR WORK/LIFE BALANCE?
Since I own my own business, the work NEVER ends and I am always mentally preparing for the next step. I had to learn that I don’t need to worry about my teaching studio every second, and that not answering an email in two seconds is okay. I can’t stress enough how lucky I feel to have found my love for piano early on and see my teaching dream come true. This may not be the most profitable occupation, but seeing students transform musically is so rewarding and necessary in my life.
5) WHAT IS ONE THING YOU WISH YOU KNEW BEFORE YOU HAD KID(S), NOW THAT YOU ARE A MOTHER?
Do not feel guilty about taking “me” time. For a long while, I felt that if I was not at work, I should be taking care of/spending time with my children. The result is just one tired mama. I still don’t take “me” time as often as I should, but I sure try.
6) IF YOU COULD GIVE YOUR CHILDREN ONE PIECE OF ADVICE WHAT WOULD IT BE?
Can it be two pieces of advice? Never expect anything in return for something you did not work for; you can make a living out of your passion if you are smart about it. Our children are very lucky that they live in a world where everything is provided for them. I want them to understand that all of this does not come just because, or that they are entitled to anything. Being a go-getter and a hard worker is necessary to survive and thrive. At the same time, don’t create a life just for financial comfort. I was told by my family that if I ever became a musician, I would starve. I decided to make sure I could make a living out of my passion!
QUICK ANSWER Q’s:
– WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CHILDREN’S BOOK? Click, Clack, Moo! My children loves this book and never gets tired of listening to this story. I find it hilarious that someone thought of cows typing. But hey, why not?!
– WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR FAVORITE CLASS YOU ENJOYED WITH YOUR CHILD? We love Music Together classes. Besides fun with the songs, all the rhythmic and melodic patterns really help children develop musically from a young age. I see the transformation with my own children every time we go through the classes.
– WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE THING TO DO WITH YOUR KIDS/FAMILY ON THE WEEKENDS? Believe it or not, we actually really enjoy grocery shopping as a family. We are certainly a family that bonds over food too, ha ha. We also have at least one to two movie nights each week. Even my two-year-old can sit through a two hour long movie!
– WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE RAINY DAY ESCAPE? We enjoy reading lots and lots of books. It is also fun to watch a movie when it is raining outside. And if the mood strikes, we will bake some yummy desserts.
Author: Kidz Central Station
Founded by a NYC mom of two young children, Kidz Central Station uses technology to solve the problem so many busy parents face—how to find, book, and manage their children’s classes, camps, local family events, and birthday parties. Kidz Central Station offers more than 3,000 classes, camps, and birthday party options representing hundreds of NYC’s top activity providers. With a sophisticated search engine and class reviews, it is easy for parents to find the best classes for their children, sign up for a trial class, and directly enroll.