Thursday, September 18, 2003

One thing for which I am truly thankful
My mother is an incredibly gifted musician - at the age of three she was able to play on the piano the melody of any song she heard; by the age of eleven, she was the church organist; she has an incredible memory and can play almost anything she's ever heard before. She has taught piano for most of her life. I believe she told me she had her first student when she was 13 years old! Mom teaches music in an elementary school in Arkansas, and her students love learning from her.

When I was growing up, Mom would often play the piano for us after we went to bed. My brother usually asked for the Carpenters, and we both loved Scott Joplin, but my favorite was Chopin's waltzes, especially the Valse in A Flat Major. She really can play anything and she taught us by her example to enjoy all kinds of music.

I wanted to be able to play like my mom and I tried to pick out tunes, but I never could find the right notes, so instead of playing actual melodies I spent a lot of time banging away at the piano, pretending that I was a great musician in front of awestruck crowds. My mother must have been a very tolerant person to have put up with that cacophany - I don't handle that kind of noise nearly as well from my children as my mother did from me.

At last, when I was about seven or eight years old, my mother, bless her heart, tried to teach me how to play the piano. It was not a success, mainly owing to my jealousy and obstinacy - I figured since I wasn't born with The Gift, as she had been, there was no point in my practicing. Well, she sent me to Mrs. Jones, from whom I took lessons for two difficult years. That woman expected me to play in recitals, and I was terrified of playing in front of strangers. One recital, I was so nervous that I thought I was dying and I didn't really mind that, I just hoped it would happen before my turn came!

But then, when I was in ninth grade and regretted that I had not learned better, my mom encouraged me to take lessons again, and recommended Mrs. McGrew, a lady in our church. I took from her for three years, and in spite of practicing nearly every day, I never got very good, but today I can play well enough to accompany the family when we sing hymns, and for that I am truly thankful.

No comments :

Post a Comment

I love comments!