When I was first learning to play piano, I learned by ear, so it took me quite a while to be comfortable reading music. When I was about 12, I was at a music store with my dad and I picked up a book of Scott Joplin rags and announced that I was going to teach myself how to play The Entertainer. My father, skeptical, paid for the book and home I went to figure the piece out. I taught the whole piece to myself and worked and worked and was waiting until I had it perfect before I surprised my teacher with it.
Then one day, my sister came to a piano lesson with me and at the end of the lesson asked "when are you going to play The Entertainer?" Gaaaah! She spilled the beans!
(the picture is of me, around age 7)
I was just about to leave my last lesson yesterday when my student's mother asked me if he had played Linus and Lucy for me yet. "No!" I announced, and then was delighted to hear a very skilled performance of the beloved Peanuts theme. While this student never struggled with reading music like I did, the effort he put into this piece on his own really impressed me. It was so nice to be on the receiving end of such a great surprise. The family also asked me to stay for dinner, but unfortunately I had to turn them down since Nate was at home making dinner for me. But believe me, their dinner smelled good!