I spent the summer of 2001 making music on the Mediterranean near Santa Pola, Spain in a small apartment overlooking the sea. I fondly remember the sun, the heat, the paella, the wine, the flowers, and the nightly walks along the seaside promenade.
Now to the story.
I had had big plans of dragging my portable piano to Spain. At the check-in counter in Toronto the agent promptly rejected the piano in the lovely crate I had built. The airline won’t let me check it as baggage because they said it was as big and heavy as a coffin. Dejected I sent it home in an in-law’s car trunk. As luck would have it, I had another in-law in Spain with an old unused Casio keyboard of sixty-five keys, one pedal, a stand, and books of Bach and Chopin.
I set up that keyboard in a window with the ocean view. Then I started playing during the long afternoon siestas. Bach, Chopin, and I quickly fell in love. Apparently so did my new neighbors who, unbeknownst to me, heard me practicing hours on end through that open window.
Back in Canada I started asking about for a “Classical” piano teacher. A professor from McMaster University recommended Leon Karan. I set up a lesson. It didn’t go well. I banged through some scales and thumped out my Bach. Though I was embarrased and humiliated, Leon was kind. After I recovered, he said, “you are of course going to do your ARCT?” “I am?” Five thousand hours later I earned an ARCT diploma in piano pedagogy and won a national scholarship. Thank you, Leon, for your patience. You changed my life.
Revised August 2022
Your comment will be posted after it is approved.
Leave a Reply.
You've got to learn your instrument. Then, you practice, practice, practice. And then, when you finally get up there on the bandstand, forget all that and just wail.
I'm a professional pianist and music educator in West Toronto Ontario. I'm also a devoted percussionist and drum teacher.