Musicologists estimate that for every hour of music listening in the typical person’s lifetime, 54 minutes are spent with songs we’ve already heard.  Forget the next big thing.  We’re all suckers for the last big thing.  – Derek Thompson

In the mid 1970’s, Daddy took me to a concert at The Cotillion Ballroom here in Wichita. I got to see Boots Randolph and Floyd Cramer! I thought I was in country hog heaven to be sure! We had such good seats and I watched Floyd Cramer play. I wanted to know what he was doing that made that unique country sound. He called them SLIP NOTES. I think they are what classical musicians call GRACE NOTES. I spent a lifetime trying to perfect them.

Some notes fell under the stands, but it went well.  – Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Today is MUSIC DAY. Music has been a large part of my life. My parents had me taking private piano lessons by the time I was three years old. I liked my teacher, Vicki. She was the pianist at our church, so I was quite comfortable around her. She was funny and sweet, patient and kind. I remember feeling as though we were playing games, but I was actually learning about music. I learned the staff, names of the lines and spaces, notes, sharps, flats, etc. but didn’t even realize I was learning. That’s the hallmark of a good teacher – one who can teach and make it fun, like a game for a small child.

Unfortunately, Vicki had to move away. I was four years old and still wanted to play the piano games. My parents scrambled to find me a new teacher before I lost interest. There was a lady in Valley Center who gave private lessons named Peggy. We set up a meeting with her and she seemed very nice.

Peggy started me out in Thompson’s “Teaching Little Fingers to Play”. I imagine a lot of children get introduced to the keyboard with that book. Vicki had not let me actually play the piano yet. We were still playing games, but now I know she was teaching me theory. Peggy had me diving right into playing right away.

I took lessons from Peggy until I graduated High School in 1979. When I finished the gray Schaum book and the seventh grade Thompson book, she announced that she had taught me everything she knew! It was a day of celebration to be sure!

Today my eyes don’t see as well as they used to, and to be honest I can’t tell a natural sign from a sharp sign.  I think music lessons helped me with dyslexia to be honest, and if I had it to do again, I would take the piano lessons! 🙂


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