After several years, Lier started encountering many students who weren't in one of the Lawrence schools she taught at, which drove her to create another program in her home that works with students not just from Lawrence, but from Andover, Boxford and other communities. Twelve to 18 students are in her at-home program at any given time, and they see her every weekend.
"In a way, Saturday is one of my favorite days," said Lier. "It's free. You have a really good feeling."
Kyle Brennan, 13 and from Lawrence, was in the first grade when he first started playing violin with Lier. Now, eight years later, he's gearing up for attending the Essex Agricultural High School in Danvers, but he's leaving behind someone he said feels like a second mother.
"She's not just my teacher. She's my friend," said Kyle. "She can be strict, but it's a good kind of strict, like your mom says, 'Eat your vegetables — it's good for you later on.'"
• • •
For feedback or inquiries on this story, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.