Thursday, May 17, 2007


Last night I got a small package. It was an envelope filled with sympathy cards from some of Dad's former churches. There were a few cards in there from his family and some from people that he went to high school with. Priscilla is overwhelmed with cards and I told her I would be glad to write thank yous to people that she didn't know. More than likely, I knew these people. Even if it was when I was just a youngling!

I've been reading through the cards and my heart is filled up! Memories from time spent among these people in their churches flood my mind. It's pretty cool.

Geneva Samuels from Morning Sun, Iowa. She was the organist in our church while we were there. She never played slowly and she could play chords like crazy! Those are two things I learned from her. I learned all about I, IV, V chords in every key. I recognized her handwriting on the card from all of the notes in my piano lesson books. I was pretty young when I started taking lessons from her. In the card that she wrote to Priscilla, this was what she said:

"Rev. Greenwood was a blessing to the Morning Sun community. After helping Diane learn to play the piano, Rev. Greenwood gave me encouraging words, that I did o.k. Since I did not take any piano lessons, I was only helping her the best I knew how. To make a long story short, I am still giving piano lessons and this has been a real joy of my life."

Do you see what that man did? He gave a woman courage to do something new because he allowed her to teach his daughter. And, though he may not have realized what he was doing at the time, he was adding texture to the musical life that I was about to embark on. Since we moved around a lot, I had many different piano teachers. I learned something amazing from each of them. From Geneva, I learned gospel piano; how to accompany using chords and how to be an accompanist. I also learned how to accompany a church congregation. Don't let 'em tell you how to play - play out and lead them!

I think about her all the time when people are astounded at how I can transpose or how I can hear what chords are. While I was too young at the time for all of this information to have been processed through her teaching - she was the beginning of much of it for me.

So, I wrote her a letter today, telling her how she impacted MY life as a music teacher. Pretty cool how Dad gave both of us a gift the day that he asked if she could give me piano lessons. Pretty darned cool.

1 comment:

Jacqniel said...

Beyond cool. Your dad was quite a man. Hugs, Jacque