Hi - Jim Bunch's experience with early piano lessons seems to
mirror my own. I was spottted as a "genius" at five, when I heard
the neighbour girl play "Marche Militaire" and played it back - in
right key. So my folks took me across the street for lessons
with the wife of the man who gave me my first haircut --- who taught
me to spell out words on a staff with cinnamon candies. Nice, but
I trace my failure of sight reading to those lessons!
For five years I fought with my mother over practicing, while begging
to continue lessons. I know now that what I was waiting, hoping, for
was that first glimpse of the WTC, or a fugue, _any_ fugue - which
came on Music Appreciation Society records when I was in high school,
and in the flesh i college, after I was mentally set on what turned
out to be the abortive medical career.
My late spouse grew up in Seattle, where he had jr. and sr. high
school music courses by doctoral candidates at the UW, of a better
quality than that university offers now. He began organ lessons at
14, with a flutist, and as one of his shop classmates told me some
years ago, "I built a skateboard. He built a harpsichord." I don't
imagine that my wiring was of the same quality as his - to some
extent he neared the character of an idiot savant - but what wiring
there was didn't do me a whole lot of good in the hills of Idaho,
where even the best teacher appeared to know no music, none at all.
who now sees his "career" as an instrument mechanic as a sort of
page turner, with footnotes.