Yesterday's blog brought back memories of how important music has always been in my life. In my first years of school, I was taking dancing lessons, gymnastics, and piano. When it became apparent to my mother that I was tired all the time and my school work was suffering, she put the skids on. As school was the most important, I could only have one outside activity for a while and see if it helped me feel better and make better grades. "You can choose whichever one you want, and drop the others. I don't care which one you keep," she said. It was no contest! I chose piano.
I loved music. Nobody ever had to make me practice, but I'm sure sometimes my parents wanted to pay me to stop! Right after dinner every evening, I'd sit at the piano for an hour or more practicing. By the time I was fourteen, I was playing for children to sing at Vacation Bible School. Once a year I was in a recital and, at sixteen, I was teaching beginners at my home after school and on Saturdays.
When I'd gone as far as I could go with local teachers, my mother was told that she should find a teacher with more education and allow me to continue taking lessons. She took the advice and went on a search for someone prepared to instruct me further. She finally found an elderly gentleman who, fortunately for us, had one opening. His lessons were expensive, but after my mother considered his credentials, she grabbed the opening.
I'm glad she did, because this man made a lasting impact on my life! He was a well-known teacher of German descent. For three years, I saw him every Saturday, rain or shine. Just spending time with this man was an education in itself. He related many stories about his childhood and the famous people with whom he had come in contact as a boy living in
. He was in his seventies and a colorful character to be sure. Germany
When I was only fifteen, he invited me, at Christmastime, to go “on a date” to a concert at a local auditorium. I will always remember that night. I dressed up in a nice wine colored velvet dress, black patent shoes and a white faux fur coat. My mother fixed my hair in a special way, adorning it with a glittery bow. I felt very glamorous. And as I watched others drift into the auditorium in their evening finery, I was proud to be seen with this distinguished man, who was wearing a tuxedo.
The symphony orchestra was extraordinary, transporting me to a temporary fantasy world from which I was not eager to return. After the concert, Mr. Schultz took me to a restaurant for a light meal and I was, once again, spellbound by fascinating stories about his life experiences. It was truly an unforgettable evening! Every young girl should be exposed to one just like it.
I can't help but wonder... does everyone have someone in their past that made such an impact? Or am I just very lucky?