The first year, when I was in 1st grade, was nice. I liked my teacher, Mr. Kingsbury. He was a school teacher and our church organist and a family friend.
The second year, it went downhill from there!
We moved. Mr. Kingsbury got a promotion to Principal. My mother found a new piano teacher a block away from my new school. My brother and I would walk there after school every Wednesday. Mrs. Bossert was old and snarky. She overused her perfume and sat too close on the piano bench next to me. The most fun piece was Boogie Woogie. Yikes!
She would always criticize my finger positions, calling them “flat-fingered flugie.” Is that even a word? My brother, Mr. Perfect, would be sitting on the sofa waiting his turn. I could hear him snicker. He was her pet. Yuck.
Fortunately, Mrs. Bossert did not have recitals for her students so I was only intimidated in front of her – and Mr. Perfect, of course.
Year after year ensued and no amount of pleading would budge my mother from her mission of a lifetime of torture, er, piano lessons for me.
Well the ultimate affront came when Mrs. Bossert decided it would be divine if Mr. Perfect and I would learn duets. That’s right: sit-on-the-same-piano-bench-at-the-same-time piano duets. ARGHHHH.
That was pretty short-lived because my mother put a stop to it before there was actual bloodshed.
My brother was the rigid legalist and would do the counting, counting, counting. I, on the other hand, played with feeling! 🙂 It just did not work. He was totally accurate but I’m sure my sound was much more enjoyable to the listening ear. I just could never get my mother to admit that though.
Well, my lessons continued even after my brother was in college. (He was two years ahead of me.) After 11th grade I finally brokered a deal with my mother. If I could give up piano lessons, I’d take voice lessons. I loved to sing and was always in the church choir and school chorus so it seemed like a win-win.
And she bought it!
Of course that didn’t work out so well either. The voice teacher wanted me to be a soprano when I knew I was an alto. And she wanted me to sing in German!
Today, I neither sing nor play the piano. Sigh.