Tuesday, May 30, 2006

An Observant Piano Student

I have been giving piano lessons to kids for over twelve years, and all that time I have been using the same piano series, the books that the lessons and music are in. Many students and I have been through the first book together, but none of us have the observational skills of my latest student, Michael. During his last piano lesson I turned the page and say, “OK, Michael, here is the next song you are going to learn. It’s called ‘The New Day.’ What is the time signature of the piece?”

With an incredulous voice, Michael asks,“What is that?”

I look at the picture of a cute little weasel for the hundreth time and see that Michael is pointing to its tail. “That’s a weasel, and that’s the weasel’s tail, Michael.”

“No, Mr. R. Here is the weasel’s tail. What is THAT?”

“Well I guess that’s one of his legs.”

“No, Mr. R. Here are his four legs. Look. One…two…three…four.”

I looked a little more closely and realized the weasel has five legs, and one of them is coming out at an unusual angle from an unexpected location. I told him, “Michael, you are very observant. No weasel has five legs. Humph! They messed up.” I left it at that.

Michael is very observant. Nobody else has ever spotted that. And I am going to submit that music book page to Jay Leno to show on “Headlines.”

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