Thursday, December 4, 2014

Second and First

I took my son to his second piano lesson today.
Second is a key word to what follows.
His teacher seemed quite pleased with his ability to hear the music.
I do not play the piano, although a number of people in my family do.
I brought a book along, intending to read.
But I kept being distracted by overheard reminders
to sit with a strong back,
and to keep his hand positioned in a hill, and not a valley.
In spite of the repetition of these reminders,
it was obvious she was pleased with his musical inclination.

His teacher taught him a new warm up.
He played it, and then asked her
if he could show her something it reminded him of.
"Yes, of course."
He haltingly worked out a tune, faltering a little at first,
and then plainly resolving into It Is Well With My Soul.

Scenes from my uncle's house, while he lay very sick
with his parents and siblings around him singing this came to mind.
Laughter through tears, and joy in sorrow.
A few months later, they were singing my Grandma home,
with the same uncle brought in through video phone calls.
So many songs of faith and hope in pain and death.
When I recognized the music, I cried.

I do not know
what parents usually experience with their children's piano lessons.
This is my first time.
But my son stuns me.
As we got into the car to leave, I said,
"I've never heard you play that one before."
"Well, that's the first time I ever played it, Mom. That's why it wasn't right."
The first time you ever played it, it was nearly in a flash of inspiration
from hearing a short warm-up exercise?
Of course.
"Hey, next time pick something I can hear without crying."

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