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Thanks, Flo Kirby

uploaded: Thu, Jul 31, 2008 @ 5:28 AM
FeaturingThe Piano Lesson Refugees
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Many thanks for my readers, the Piano Lesson Refugees:
Calendar Girl
Duckett, and

as well as to MC Jack in the Box, whose expression of gratitude was fun to sequence.

So many children are accorded the privilege of taking piano lessons.
I remember the mnemonics about the scales, the way that different levels of lesson books involved “graduating” to different color covers, and the sense of sheer anticipation one felt for the longed-for day when one would get to use the damper pedal.

My piano teacher when I was 6 in Gurdon, Arkansas, was Flo Kirby.
Ms. Kirby had once, I believe, been a pianist in a jazz band, although among musical people in an earlier generation, this was not such an unusual thing. My late mother played marimba with an ensemble on a small-town radio show, with no salary other than a meal after th show; this was from a time when music was much less of an industry and rather more of a shared experience that people enjoyed.

Although accorded every advantage, including a capable piano teacher in Flo Kirby, I must admit that my years of lessons reaped less skill at piano than perhaps any equivalent set of lessons might have done for the hypothetical reasonable student.

Yet thanks to Flo Kirby, and to Reed Barringer who taught me afterware, I left my piano lessons with the skill to read music. This has led to endless hours of fun, both in making what I call music via computer and in stray analog
music-making I do inexpertly on things like can-jo’s, autoharps and nose flutes.

I suspect that Flo Kirby, were she living, would not necessarily be particularly intrigued with the music I make, but I know she would be delighted and amused that I have so much fun and spread sounds world-wide with a skill I would not have but for her.

This simple novelty mix is a kind of thank you to all the people—music teachers, art teachers, dance instructors, and even librarians—who put inspiring creativity above material gain,
humdrum practicality and the workaday.

It’s easy to think of lessons that don’t “take” as somehow wasted, but
the shared experience of music culture derived from piano lessons is a heritage in which I am glad I shared.

Thank you, Flo Kirby.

"Thanks, Flo Kirby"
by gurdonark

2008 - Licensed under
Creative Commons
Noncommercial Sampling Plus

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