Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Tribute to a beloved teacher
Back in high school my parents didn't have a lot of money. My older sister, Tina, had taken lessons with Barbara by going to her house right after school and accompanying her other students while they sang. Then Tina had her lesson at the end of 2 or 3 hours of playing for the others. For free.
Barbara let me do this too. At first, it was frightening and I didn't play well. Barbara never made a comment about my atrocious piano skills, but I still got my lessons for free. I took from her for three years solid. I adored her. Practically worshiped her. For three years, I spent a whole afternoon and evening at her house once a week. I can't even tell you how much she taught me, and not just about music either.
I remember my senior recital vividly, standing in the crook of her big, grand piano, singing my heart out. She taught me confidence that I'd never had until that point. I was so shy, so insecure. I wasn't the only one she did this for either. She made each student feel like they were more important to her than air.
I feel like I've had the wind knocked out of my sails at the news of her death. Don't people like her live forever? I think they're supposed to. Others will have to rise up and take her place, giving young people a sense of belonging, of importance. But who's qualified? At the moment, I don't have an answer. Maybe me someday.
For those interested in attending her funeral, here is the info.