~Published in the Charleston Gazette - Sunday, August 9, 2009~
A little red-haired girl named Malinda came to me for lessons only two weeks before a recital was planned. The programs were already printed and the other students had been practicing their pieces for a month. When I told Malinda that the recital would be soon, she was excited. I explained to her that if she wanted to be in it, she’d have to memorize a song in short order. Undaunted by the time limit, she made it clear that she definitely wanted to participate.
So I set about to find a musical piece that she could learn quickly. The one I chose was short and used only two or three fingers, but this precocious little carrot-top gave it as much consideration as if it were a famous three-part concerto; and if she was nervous, it didn’t show. When I introduced her at the recital and announced that she’d had only a few lessons, but wanted to play in the recital anyway, she beamed. After a flawless performance, she received rousing applause. Next to her parents, I was the proudest person in the room.
Some of the twenty are still involved in music - many years later. One young lady is presently living and attending school in
. I'm told she loves to play so much that, since it would have been difficult for her to take her piano with her, she rented one there. I like to think I helped instill in her the love and importance of music. Another former student plays regularly at her church, and does a beautiful job. Yet another, with whom I've stayed in contact, declares to this day that I, and learning to play the piano, had a very positive influence on her life, giving her confidence she lacked before. All of this is “music” to my ears! England