Saturday, February 20, 2010

My Front Door to the World of Music - What a Bargain!

I was thinking yesterday about my first encounter with the world I have loved more than any other world.
I was, as I recall, six years of age - he was already moving out of middle age, and had taught piano for many years in the city of my childhood. I cannot remember a man of greater kindness and love for children, let alone his illimitable patience, the most important requisite, perhaps, for any music teacher.
He was the music director of his house of worship, and exulted in directing the choir, made up mostly of men and women, with a few of the older children sprinkled evenly among the brood.
Picture the following:
He would get onto a street-car near his home, which was on the opposite side of the city from where I resided. It took at least a half-hour to cross town; he then would get off the street-car at the corner of my street, walk about a quarter of a mile down my street to arrive at my home, and upon entering would have a cup of tea or coffee with my parents, exchanging the news of the week etc.
I would be waiting in the living room, where my upright resided, whereupon this kind, gentle man would enter, and we would be together for an hour at the piano, developing a mutual love for one another, while ostensibly I would devour the musical information which was, ultimately, the reason for his being there.
Over the first four or five years, I of course encountered the likes of Concone, Czerny, Streabbog, etc., laced with Fur Elise, Idilio, Flower Song, works of Chopin, Schumann and Bach, to be sure, let alone countless other morsels of sound which I would valiantly attempt to actuate to his pleasure.
When the hour was expended, he would then graciously take leave of me and the family, and take the street-car to the next destination, wherever that might have been.
This event occurred every Thursday evening for the first handful of years in this wonderful new world.
All this for - ONE DOLLAR.

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