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Sunday, June 14, 2009

My Piano Playing Days


It's hard for me to remember back THAT far, but when I was young, I played the piano. Along with most of my friends, I took piano lessons from Mrs. Williams (on Wyandotte Ave. in my hometown of Big Stone Gap, VA) from the time I was about 7 yrs. old through high school. To be honest, I never enjoyed playing the piano very much--even though my mother LOVED for me to 'show-off' for family and friends when they'd visit (which I did NOT enjoy doing).

I remember that my mother told me that I wouldn't have to wash or dry the dishes after supper in the evenings IF I would practice the piano for about 30 minutes. I wasn't a FOOL... I practiced the piano!!!! Since I came from a very musical family, I actually became a pretty good pianist... I remember going to Pennington Gap every year in the Spring/Summer to participate in regional contests. My Senior year in high school, I received a High School Diploma in Music. The picture above was of me in the local newspaper after I received this special diploma. (Sorry the quality is horrible.)

When I first attended college (Tennessee Wesleyan College in Athens, TN) in 1960-61, I intended to major in piano. BUT--after one semester with a new piano teacher (whom I didn't care for at all), I switched to voice. I had always been involved in Glee Club and in choirs and small groups while in high school, but never thought about majoring in voice until college. One reason I chose Tennessee Wesleyan College at that time was because they had a fantastic college touring choir. The choir came to Big Stone Gap when I was in high school--and a couple of students stayed at our home. That SOLD me--and I decided that I wanted to be a part of that choir someday! And luckily, I was.

I had the privilege of singing under Mr. Jack Houts at Tennessee Wesleyan--and also taking voice lessons from him. The piano did come in handy throughout college since I could play for myself (and others) while singing. After getting married, we bought a piano--which moved with me for years and years. But--I never seemed to find the time (or the interest) to sit down and practice or just play it. SO---finally when I was in Texas, I sold that piano and haven't missed it to this day. But---I am glad that I learned to play ---and I thank my mother for all of her encouragement (and urging) when I was young.


The picture above was sent to me by a friend. It also isn't very good quality since it is a newspaper print. BUT--it was taken at one of Mrs. Williams' yearly piano recitals. The names are listed (which is good, if you have a magnifying glass!) because I'm not sure how many I could recognize these days!!!! I am on the front row to the left of the girl sitting at the piano!

These days, I mostly enjoy music by just listening---and that's probably a good thing!!!! ha

Have a great Sunday!

Hugs,