The 20 Minute Piano Lesson

Posted by Danny

I took piano lessons when I was a kid for about 5 years.  I can read music but I have to practice a song a really, really long time for it to be audience worthy.  And by audience, I mean anyone.  There are a lot of pregnant pauses in my music. 

I know my notes, but if you asked me to play a G cord, you’d be out of luck.  And heaven forbid you asked for an A minor or a C# cord.  I’d have a better chance of remembering a phrase from my 7th grade Spanish class.  Actually I do remember “Hay un medico in su familia?” – is there a doctor in your family; and “Donde esta el bano?” – where is the bathroom.  If you’re going to a foreign country, those are two questions you may readily need.

Jesse on the other hand did not take piano lessons and cannot read music.  An eighth note to him is just a black dot with some friends nearby.  But as I’ve told you before, he can plunk out any pop tune with a sheet of music with only the letter of chord written over the lyric.

I’ve thought to myself a hundred times this past year, “How does he do that?” 

Today, he gave me a lesson.

10 am Sunday morning:

6 pm Sunday afternoon:

He’s a pretty good teacher.  I’m a pretty good student.  Mrs. Haynes would be so proud.  (Oh, that’s Stephanie, the camera girl, in the background.)

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So Much Talent

I wouldn’t consider myself musical.  I can carry a tune fairly well and did have a few solos in productions as a high school student.  Once I played Adam in The Apple Tree.  My costume was a pair of khaki shorts.  I was so skinny, you could have seen the missing rib God used to make Eve. 

My mom was a piano teacher but couldn’t teach me because we fought too much.  She couldn’t take my whining.  I couldn’t take her frustration at my lack of rehearsal.  One of her friends was also a piano teacher so they switched sons; a win for all involved.  I can plunk out a tune with the sheet music, but you’d better plan plenty of time for pregnant pauses in between measures.  On the dance floor, I can shag fairly well, but I won’t be staring in A Chorus Line any time soon.

Jesse on the other hand is musical.  In fact, one of the few things that I don’t like about him is the fact that he has so much natural talent, it’s just not fair.  At weddings he has been asked if he was a paid dancer coming to get the party started.  He’s performed in Ira David Wood’s A Christmas Carol at Memorial Auditorium as a main character.  He’s also a good basketball player and if you put him in front of any group of people, they will no doubt be WOWed.  I have him licked in a couple of areas – more hair, more money and thus far have proven better at producing offspring (granted, he’s never been married, but I’m still claiming that as mine).  Now, me bringing this up is not a desire for comments on how many talents I have (especially you mom and dad).  I’m simply pointing out that Jesse is remarkable in many ways (he ain’t perfect though!)

The other day I came home to a house full of music.  It started with Jesse on the guitar and Stephanie sitting at the piano.  One of the girls favorite songs right now is Grenade by Bruno Mars.  As I listened from the kitchen, I began to hear Jesse talking Stephanie through the chords of the song – “Now play a D minor chord, A minor, yes – good job.”  The song unfolded.  Stephanie listened intently.  I could see the lightbulb going off in her head – “This is why I’ve been taking piano for the past three years!” 

Talent abounds

Takes after her uncle

A few minutes later, Jesse was at the piano, Michelle belting out Grenade at the top of her lungs (and she really has a strong voice!)  DJ is also learning to play the guitar thanks to Jesse’s tutelage. 

Pretty soon we’re going to have the Dixie Chics on Dellwood Drive.  $$$ (I’ll take care of the finances, another talent of  mine).

Dentist

Posted by Danny

It’s pathetic, but I had never taken our kids to the dentist; in fact, I didn’t know who they went to see.  I knew that the office was on Fairview Road, but other than that, I was clueless.

One day I got the reminder call – your appointment is next Tuesday.  Tuesday was piano day!  I had the carpool all set.  How in the heck was I going to get three kids to the dentist at 3:15 and still make the 4 and 4:30 piano lessons.   Why would we have an appointment on the same day as piano?  I called the piano teacher let her know we might not make it and headed over to the office, not quite sure how this would pan out.

I walked up to the desk, they were expecting us.

“Mr. Tanner, we’ll get Stephanie right in the chair, she has piano at 4, correct?”

“How did you know?”

“We do this twice a year!”

“What about Michelle?”

“You take Stephanie to piano, it’s right around the corner, we’ll have Michelle ready when you get back.  Drop Michelle off, pick up Stephanie and come back for DJ.”

“So you’ve done this before?”

“Twice a year Mr. Tanner.”

Why couldn’t I figure that out?

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