First impressions are powerful. I have fond memories of my music lessons as a child. If every child had the positive experience I had, there would be many more children enjoying playing an instrument. My beloved teacher, Mrs. Marion Casey, passed away years ago now. Mrs. Casey had a cute little home not far from mine in Manchester, New Hampshire. My lesson time was on Friday afternoon for many years starting in first grade. My Mom took me to Mrs. Casey’s home every week faithfully. With four children to juggle, it is amazing to me that she never once missed bringing me to my music lesson. What an angel she is and always has been! In the back of Mrs. Casey’s home was the den. In there, my mother would relax in a recliner, knit, watch TV, read a book, or maybe doze off for a few minutes.
The main room was the music room. She had two baby grand pianos side-by-side with a chair in between them where she would sit during the lesson. Sometimes she would shift over to her piano bench and play music for me, especially when we were choosing new music for me to learn. She also sat on the bench at her piano when we played duets, which was the most fun ever!
In between all the piano playing and teaching, there grew a beautiful relationship. All those little conversations that took place over many years added up to a mutual trust and common feeling of kinship. Ours was a very comfortable relationship in which we shared a love for the piano and music. She was like a precious grandmother to me. Mrs. Casey was a kind woman and never criticized me with her words or even tone of voice.
I have fond memories of the many years going to Mrs. Casey’s house. My parents had large obligations to four children and always found a way to provide music lessons for me. A special thank you to my parents for their dedication and generosity which created my musical foundation.