As I sit here writing this post, the sound of beautiful music is wafting down from my upstairs loft and the grand piano that mostly sits silent. Today however the piano’s owner, my son, is visiting and finally the keys have sprung to life once again. This background of music has been constant in our lives since the boy was four years old when my mother, a pretty good musician herself, bought us our first upright piano and signed him up for music classes. Every Saturday morning, she and my dad would pick up our son and take him to the class, participate with him and return with instructions for the week’s practicing. This cycle continued for a few years until he was old enough for private lessons and then I would dutifully drop him off. And so it went until he could drive himself and finally, upon high school graduation, he transitioned to a university music conservatory.
My parents are not alive anymore to witness the flame that grew from those early lessons. But when I hear my son play, I feel connected to them. Both were musical, albeit in different ways. My mom loved the structure of sitting at the piano. My dad was whimsical and loved the tactile sensation of picking up a clarinet, a banjo, a concertina and would often bring some new, unusual instrument home to show us. Even a harmonica delighted him and he’d run it between his lips, a twinkle in in eye, and try to teach us the same technique.
My son also spent several years with a violin, but it was the piano that had staying power for him and now, it is his life’s work. We’ve watched and listened as he grew from a tiny boy whose feet couldn’t even touch the floor pedals, into a man towering over the keys. When he plays his body sways with the music, his feet move confidently over the pedals and his green eyes blaze with energy.
Years ago, I asked my son how he feels when he plays the piano. He told me it felt like he was flying and that he is happy when he plays. I interpreted the flying as a feeling of freedom. Freedom and happiness; what more could a mother want for her child? What more could anyone want for themselves? As we head into Independence Day 2019, I wish for all of you, freedom and happiness. I wish that for our country and for our planet.
And, here’s the latest update from my garden:
About Barbara Dab
Barbara Dab is a small business owner, journalist, broadcast radio personality, producer and award-winning public relations consultant. She is the proud owner of Nashville Pilates Company, a boutique Pilates studio in Nashville’s Wedgewood/Houston neighborhood. Check it out at www.nashvillepilatescompany.com. She is also the creator of The Peretz Project: Stories from the Shoah: Next Generation. The Peretz Project, named for her late father-in-law who was a Holocaust survivor, is collecting testimony from children of survivors. Visit http://www.theperetzproject.com. If you are, or someone you know is, the child of survivors of the Shoah, The Holocaust, and you would like to tell your story please leave a comment and Barbara will contact you.
Like what you’ve read? Feel free to share, but please… Give HerSavvy credit. Thanks!