Saturday, October 4, 2014

An Example of the Sedulity That Can Emerge From This Thing We Call Music...

I call it a kind of mini-miracle.
A world famous pianist ( a visitor to dinner at my home-honestly!) was incredulous when in answer to a question he projected concerning  my activities, I related this 'mini-miracle'  to him.
This subject is bandied about periodically among my friends, family members and students.
And, at times, I wonder about the number of teachers in the arts who have undergone, or are at present undergoing  the same event?
Read on -
In 1981, at the college I was teaching in, I received a new student, at the time a sophomore at Harvard, for piano lessons.
He is now in his fifties, and is still a student of mine, spending an hour with me each Tuesday. He has, since his Harvard days, taken harmony and counterpoint with me by way of Hindemith and Piston texts, along with his piano lessons.
Another student of mine, a graduate of Princeton and Harvard, took his daughter's place a week after she left town for college; the daughter having been with me from age 6 to age 17. That was some twenty one years ago- he sees me each Wednesday evening.
A graduate of M.I.T. also replaced his son's lesson slot with me, after the son  graduated from high school (he began piano lessons with me in 3rd grade) to go on to college. That was also about twenty years ago. I see him each  Tuesday, directly after my Harvard sophomore of 1981 has  bid me 'adieu' for the week.
Another brilliant M.I.T. graduate usurped his daughter's lesson time with me, directly after she left town to attend college  following about six years of piano with me. He comes in to my studio each Tuesday at 8:15 A.M., on his way into work directly  thereafter, and has been doing this for about twenty years.
These men; all four, are in the sciences, and  now accomplished pianists.
Looking at numbers(which generally do not lie), it appears that each of the four families listed above have averaged over thirty years of visitations, and continue doing so, with  continued elan.
The most illuminating result of these experiences is the amount of growth I have been witness to, especially in re-visiting works these men had done in previous years with me.
How often is that possible with students who are  actually in pursuance of a musical career, and cannot be seen by a teacher for more than a handful of years?
I truly have been blessed with the empirical reality of  the bottomless and boundless nature of artistic expression and meaning, by way of these sessions with these people, who are now, essentially, extensions of my own family.
I ask any teacher in the arts who happens to come across this blog:
Are any of you undergoing this kind of experience? Please let me know through "comments." I pray that I am not alone.


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