My name is Ann Welcome and I’m a piano teacher in my home in Cutchogue and also the music director for the Mattituck Presbyterian Church.
I have given piano lessons since the age of 13, so for over 50 years. People ask if I tire of it and I never do because every student is unique and interesting and a bonus for me is that I get to know the beautiful families. And it’s fun, I teach children from age four and then my oldest is in their 80s.
I get to sit right in my home with my Havanese, Peppy, at my feet and the piano is facing the bird garden and I get to just sit there and share my knowledge and have the people learn a skill that’s going to be exciting and fulfilling for them throughout their lives.
Then, at Mattituck Presbyterian Church, I’ve been there since 1990 and before me, for 25 years, it was my mom. I have a few responsibilities in the church, I direct the choir. I work them hard but they are up to the task and they always sound great.
And I’m the organist. The organ is the king of instruments and this particular instrument is magnificent. It was built in Quebec in 1992, designed specifically for our sanctuary. I feel like the skill of learning the organ is becoming a lost art and it’s one of my missions to make sure that doesn’t happen, so I give organ lessons, and it’s working because all of my organ students have jobs.
When I’m not teaching or doing something like directing the choir, I’m practicing. I’m practicing organ, piano and harp. On Thursdays I’m here in the morning for staff meetings and then I’m here in the beautiful new music room they had made last year where I am studying anthems and practicing on the piano. Sundays I’m here at 6 in the morning and I practice until 7, then I relax a little before all the craziness begins.
This church is well known for its missions, and although I’m not one to go to Haiti to help, what I can do is prepare a concert and perform and get a free will offering for that.
I absolutely love what I do. The combination, it’s more fulfilling and exciting than I ever thought it would be. I wouldn’t want to change a thing.
“The Work We Do” is a Suffolk Times multimedia project profiling workers on the North Fork. It is made possible by Peconic Landing. See the video on facebook.com/thesuffolktimes.