Blind Piano Teacher



When we moved to Salt Lake City, my parents rented a small house. It had a kitchen, dining room, front room, one bedroom, and one bathroom. There were five of us living there. My two sisters and I slept in the bedroom, and my parents slept in the dining room. We had an upright piano that was placed at the entry of the dining room to give them a modicum of privacy.

When I was approximately eight-years old, I convinced my Mom to let me take piano lessons (it is important to know that they had no extra money and to do so was a sacrifice for them). They hired a blind piano teacher who came to the house to give me lessons.

I remember sitting at the piano listening to the teacher as he tried to teach me, but I didn’t understand anything he said. Fortunately, my mother knew enough piano that she could help me practice, but I had one serious flaw. I was musically disabled. Nothing made any sense and it didn’t matter if I practiced or didn’t practice the results were the same.

Meanwhile, my younger sister would sit on the couch and listen to my teacher, then, after he left, she would get up and go practice what he had tried to teach me.

Under these conditions it was not hard to convince Mom to let me quit piano lessons so I could play baseball with my friends. Wisely she hired this man to teach my sister, who became a very accomplished pianist.

As parents we need to recognize and accept the fact that our children have their own strengths, weaknesses, and unique talents. With this awareness we can provide them with better guidance and help them grow stronger as they face their challenges.

Today, I still don’t know middle C from the foot pedal, and the fact is I am OK with that!

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