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SC Arts Commission 40th Anniversary

Tell Your Story!

Individuals have submitted stories based on their experiences. The Arts Commission has not verified all facts.



Timothea Hurtt

Piano Teacher, Carolina Music Academy

Columbia, S.C.

Maria Spanos was my piano teacher. She represents a generation of piano teachers who were disciplined, structured, a bit strict, challenging and very caring. I was 9 years old when I began my piano lessons with Mrs. Spanos and 22 years old when I received my last piano lesson from her, at the National Conservatory of Athens. My piano lessons were one hour each, a typical schedule for Greeks. My piano practice was one hour a day, and not because I liked to practice. As a matter of fact, my father would make me practice every day.


What I loved in my piano teacher was her passion for piano, her dedication to her students, her sense of duty toward us, and her discipline that was shown in all areas of her life.


Although she was a busy piano performer in the cultured circles of Athens, her priority was to make sure her husband and daughter had homemade dinners every night, their clothes were ironed daily, and her house was immaculate, because she would clean daily. She would practice piano a few hours every night, and she would attend many concerts at the symphony orchestra. She would talk to us about her trip to the Paris Opera, and to her trip to that gallery and that museum, and we all wanted to be so much like her!


She was a lady, a friend, a passionate pianist, a reader of classical literature, a faithful teacher, a great cook, a gifted decorator.


I am thankful for her example of quality she passed on to her piano students. I still want to be like her.



Submit your story by e-mailing Milly Hough.

40th Anniversary background

For more information, contact Milly Hough, Communications Director (803-734-8698).