Music teacher’s approach hits the right notes


SIDNEY, Ill. (WCIA) — This teacher is a firm believer in the power of music.

Her career is giving the gift of music through piano lessons.

Some of her students might tell you that Joni Roy herself is a gift in their lives, that keeps on giving.

15-year-old Shelbee Taylor belts out a power ballad during her lesson.

Just behind her, turning the pages, is one of the most important women in her life, Joni Roy.

Roy started teaching piano lessons 30 years ago, because she believes it’s special to have music in your life.

“It gives them another way of expression. Something outside of just words, or it’s another way to express feelings,” said Roy.

Thus, she transformed a small space into her personal classroom, where she starts from the beginning…and works through to advanced.

“I just enjoy watching them figure it out. When they learn a new song or something, it’s just fun to watch,” said Roy.

Every time her students come back, their skills grow.

For Shelbee Taylor, who’s been coming for years, so did her bond with her teacher.

“She’s been through a lot with me,” said Shelbee. “I’ve cried multiple times in there, because we’ll just talk. We’ll talk about random things. New musicals coming out…different songs that we love…or just things that are happening.”

In music, Shelbee uncovered a passion. Joni helped her develop it.

“It’s very therapeutic, especially when it comes to post-show depression. So I’ll just sit in my room and sing, because it’s just fun,” said Shelbee.

Years later, she still always looks forward to learning more from a special person in Our Town Sidney.

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