When I was six and my sister nine, my mother and father bought this ebony, piano console. Somehow, my mother had convinced my financially conservative father to purchase this brand-new item so that her daughters would learn to play piano. Since I was “trained” in many ways to be the lady of southern heritage, I now think piano lessons were just the thing to do for young ladies – making them more enticing marriage material.
My sister and I were told that we would take piano lessons for three years and then we could quit if we so desired. My sister chose to quit. But before she quit I had fun playing duets with her and really loved-loved playing and practicing. Mrs. Hanna was our teacher, the only teacher’s name I remember. She was friendly and supportive and gave me a positive start in music. The last teacher I had, after a few others throughout the ten years of weekly piano lessons, was a typical teacher of young ladies. I was aghast at her red, long nails!
Throughout these years of my youth, my parents struggled financially. After hearing them argue about paying for piano lessons, I decided to quit. Wanting a better teacher was too costly. That was not the smartest choice to make, as I am sure there were other options. Unfortunately, I walked away from the piano for many years following.