Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Pay Day

"I would say that music is the easiest means in which to express, but since words are my talent, I must try to express clumsily with words what the pure music would have done better."  William Faulkner
It's hard to say which I love most--music or words.  I think both are completely wonderful, and my life would be flat without them.
I am a piano teacher and teach several of my grandchildren.  Aaron is thirteen now.  When he was three, I was teaching his five year old brother to play the piano.  He came to me one day and said, "Grandma, I think you should teach me piano, too."  
I readily agreed, because the desire was real.  If I could sell desire, I would be a millionaire. 

Since I teach Suzuki Method, teaching a three year old was not unusual.
About half of my students are my grandchildren.  It is a special joy to teach those we love.  The grandchildren have watched each other learn to play the piano with interest.  As they watch, a spark of desire is begins to grow.  Then they talk to Grandma.
When Kieri asked me if I would teach her, I wasn't sure how it would work out.  Her parents are divorced and not particularly interested in piano lessons. Suzuki Method depends on parent involvement.  She spends time in several locations during a week, with limited access to a piano.  Since she had the desire we began. 
We overcame a few obstacles.  We found her a piano so that she could practice at home, and I found space in my schedule to work with her several times a week.   It's going well.
Recently Kieri asked me,"Grandma, why is music important?
What a question?  What would you say?  I could think of many answers, but I kept it simple.
"There are lots of reasons why music is important," I said. "Let's just talk about two of them for today." I had her attention.  "First, music makes us happy."  This lead to a discussion on happy and sad songs.  In truth, music can express a variety of emotions, and she recognized that.  Kieri enjoys sad songs.  She likes minor.
"Another thing I love about music," I continued, "is that it organizes our brains so that we can learn better."
Her eyes grew wide at this thought. 
Later that week, she spent the night and I listened to her bedtime prayer.  "Heavenly Father," she began.  "Thank you for music..."
There is more than one kind of pay day. 
Linda Garner


J. R. said...

What a sweet tender story, my heart was touched. And too, my gratitude for music is huge. She sounds like a real sweetheart!

Bethany Elizabeth said...

That's very sweet. And what a question! :) A good question, I think.