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Friday, 27 May 2011

Music Lesson

By Susan Gulliford of Hillsborough NJ Journal

Mitch Miller Music

When my parents sold their final house, downsizing and moving into an assisted living/nursing home facility, these Sing Along With Mitch music books were among the things they saved.

Raising four children, my mother and father suffered through decades of music lessons but being a Welsh family, it was expected that music was always around.

Offhand I remember four choir members (plus my parents), four sets of piano lessons (ranging from one year to maybe just over a decade), five or six years of clarinet, two sets of violin lessons (one for only a really pathetic year - ahem) and - last but not least - a year of bagpipes.

Well, not exactly bagpipes. I believe this set of lessons only made it as far as the chanter stage. Actually I'm not sure they lasted for a year. Or maybe it's that my parents didn't last for a year. It's the only instrument that was dropped by the mutual consent of parent and child. No, it wasn't me.

Mitch Miller died July 31st, about a month after my father. I don't believe that having to listen to beginning bagpipe lessons contributed to either one's demise.

[INVITATION: All elders, 50 and older, are welcome to submit stories for this blog. They can be fiction, non-fiction, poetry, memoir, etc. Instructions for submitting are here.]

Posted by Ronni Bennett at 05:30 AM | Permalink | Email this post


Always wanted to learn bagpipes or have one of my children give it a try..they wanted guitar and drums & I was glad they did it for years and seemed to enjoy it too..Nothing like music lessons they say for any age..with all the studies they are doing, esp of our l940s generation, may come out that it added more than the memories and drama..Mitch Miller on people's tvs I always remember that..thanks for nice memory prod...

When my Grandson began taking saxaphone lessons at age 10 his Mom called me and said,"I am going crazy. Quentin has to practice that sax for 30 minutes and he only knows four notes."

Nice little short story here. I love the sound bagpipes make, but the tuning usually sounds a little iffy to me!
Good work.

This brought back memories for me, too. My mother was a piano teacher, and every afternoon I would come home to the sound of one of her students (usually a kid I knew from school) dutifully playing scales or whatever she'd assigned. They would sit together at the mahogany Chickering spinet she'd gotten as a wedding present and brought across the continent in 1946 from Boston to the Southern California desert.

She wouldn't teach me, though, claiming I wouldn't practice enough. Instead, I took violin lessons from the time I was about seven to about fifteen, when I became more interested in other things.

Of course, now I regret not continuing. I still have my kid-size violin, and sometimes I think about taking it up again. Or maybe even piano.

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