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Thursday, July 7, 2011

Book Entry 27: 1959 Piano Lessons

1959
Piano Lessons

          I think it was when I was ten I started my long journey of piano lessons.  I remember the first little songs.  I remember the repetition of two or three notes, the learning to count 1-2-3-4 out loud as I practiced, and having to curl my fingers a certain way to please my teacher.  I remember how I loved it the first time a song actually appeared in my little book having more than two or three notes.  There was actually a melody!  I bet I played those first songs a million times. 
Next I learned songs I actually recognized like Old Susanna, This Old Man, America, and a million others.  I liked being able to sit at my piano and play songs for my mom and dad.  Mom had to listen to all the practicing so she never really asked me to play anything but almost every day when dad came in from work he’d ask me to play a song for him.  He'd sit down to take off his shoes and have an iced tea.  He’d call me from my room or from outside and ask me to play him a song or two.  Of course I always did because I wanted his praise.  I usually massacred the new songs but he always seemed to recognize and appreciate them anyway.
When I was a freshman in high school I became our church organist.  I can remember dad’s face the first Sunday I played for the congregation.  He beamed looking at me and listening to me.  He frowned at the folks who kept whispering.  I remember him motioning to Dan Baptista as he walked into the church.  He looked at Dan and pointed at me.  I was embarrassed and proud at the same time.  Dad was always proud of me and my music.  I was always proud to play for him.

3 comments:

  1. Playing the piano or organ in church must have been a bit scary, but a thrill too.

    I took violin lessons for a few years, and played in the orchestra, but didn't follow though...I'm sure my practicing was unbearable to my parents.

    Then I started singing in the choir at FBC Turlock.

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  2. I played the accordian when I was about 9 years old. I wanted to play the piano but I now realize that the rented accordian was a lot cheaper and my folks must have gotten a bargin on lessions. I did learn a lot about music and I'm glad for what I learned.
    One memory is so vivid and it still hurts deep in side when I think about it.
    I had to play a solo at church for some occasion.
    I was a very chunky little kid. As i bent over in the front of church to pick that heavy instrument up, several buttons on the back of my dress popped and became air-borne. I still had to play the solo with a gaping dress back and an extremely red face. I don't think I did very well on the solo either. Actually I think my embarrassment has blocked the rest of the time from my memory.
    Whew, I didn't think I would go on and on like that.
    I'll bet you were a great accompanist.

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  3. sorry for all the mistakes in the last post. I didn't see them until I hit publish.

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