One summer afternoon I finished up teaching lessons to two little boys (on a totally unrelated note, these brothers were AMAZING students. They practiced EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. Without fail. They were a teacher's dream.). Their parents were late picking them up, so we had a little time to kill. I decided to play a piece for them. I sat down and played a little bit of Liszt's Un Sospiro (Etude in D-flat Major). I finished up and turned to look at my students, who were standing there, stunned. One of them said, in amazement, "You sound like the freakin' radio!" This is, by far, my favorite compliment I have ever received. It just cracks me up.
Our students need to hear us play! They need to know not only that we know what we are talking about, but that we practice what we preach and practice the piano just like they do. On a side note, I am definitely not perfect and this is something I am working on; I know I have a lot of room for improvement in this category (regular practicing, that is) since becoming a mommy and having precious little time to myself (I am sure you other mommas can surely relate!).
One of the things that I admire most about my piano teacher in college is that he was always practicing. It seems like every time I'd walk past his office, if he wasn't teaching he'd be practicing up a storm. How inspiring, to see your own teacher practicing so diligently, and to know without a doubt that they absolutely know what they are teaching, and that they are exhibiting the same hard work that they expect of you!