Meet Head of the Class Mom, Natalia Huang Founder of Natalia Huang Piano Studio. We first met Natalia in 2014 and we wanted to share an update on how things are going now that her children have grown and her business has evolved!
**For a limited time, Kidz Central Station Families receive a special promotion for a Trial Piano Lesson with Natalia Huang Piano Studios. Sign up here!**
Tell us about yourself. Why did you start Natalia Huang Studio?
Teaching piano is very special to me. I will be honest – I find that I can have a world of patience teaching about piano because I am so passionate about it. Just don’t ask me to teach anything else, ha! But yes, Natalia Huang Piano Studio was started when I was pregnant with my second child. As you know, the living spaces in New York City is not big at all. I very quickly realized that if I wanted to continue to teach piano, I’d have to move outside of my home. That was when I decided to rent a space and bring on additional teachers.
What is your secret to balancing work and family? Is there a balance?
As we have grown to three locations now, I’ve gotten better at “balancing”. But I do use that word very loosely because really, is there such a thing as balancing? I think the studio is able to operate more by itself now without my daily involvement, and I’ve gotten better at time managing now that all three of my children are in school during the day. Every year, I add on something to take care of myself more. Two years ago, it was to stop working after a certain hour during the day. Last year, it was to not look at emails during the weekend (only about a 75% success rate, haha). This year, I think I will shoot for not doing anymore work once my children gets home from school.
Share a funny story that helped you become a better parent and/or better at your job.
This has happened very recently. I had enrolled my children in a three day Chinese speech competition. As I was teaching them how to prepare for a speech, my oldest daughter asked me, “Is this why you always talk to yourself in front of the mirror or in a corner?” I realized she was referring to whenever I have to prepare for studio recital speeches. I never thought my children were paying attention to me that way! This made me understand that it is important to have your child see what you do for a living because it may influence them in more ways than you think!
What has been your biggest challenge and/or greatest reward in the struggle for work-life balance?
Well, I can say the challenges are ongoing. I have trained myself better over the years to face challenges without thinking the whole business will collapse. I must say though, that the greatest reward for my work-life balance is freedom. The freedom to do what I love in any location of the world. The freedom to take a day off and go to my children’s school event is worth all the challenges I face.
What is one thing you wish you knew before you had kids?
That teaching your own children piano is completely impossible! I had dreams of being my children’s piano teacher. The second I attempted to teach my oldest, that dream was shattered, haha! Now, my studio teacher teaches all my children, and I stay far away from the piano room when they are practicing!
What is one piece of advice you would give to other parents?
Children are more resilient than we think. Let them learn how to fail when they are younger, instead of always worrying about if something may hurt their feelings. You’d be surprised how quickly they bounce back from something and learn to move forward!
Favorite children’s book? I picked up “Dear Girl” for my youngest daughter last year. I love the message in the book — no need to conform to how society wants you to be, just be yourself!
Favorite kids’ class? I know I’m biased to say piano, but I really really look forward to all the life skills piano lessons will teach my children. It certainly has taught me a lot!
Favorite thing to do with your family on weekends? We enjoy swimming when the weather permits. We love how much we can let loose and have a good time in the pool.
Favorite rainy day escape? Puzzles! Now that my children are older, it is fun to get them to pitch in too. It is such a relaxing activity to do!