You are Never Too Old

I ran across “Zigma,” www.zikken24.com when he “liked” my post from yesterday. I “liked” his post, “95-Year-Old Indian Man Enrolls for a Masters Degree.”

As I read about the man, I thought about my piano teacher, Pearl Pederson. Most piano teachers cease to teach at retirement age. Most students start learning when they are in elementary school.

My teacher was 74 years old. She offered me lessons when I was 12 years old. She was the piano player at church and she was looking for someone to replace her. She was amazing on the piano and no one wanted to follow her.

She had arthritis and her knuckles were twice as large as normal. She walked with a cane. She had a bad heart.

After teaching me a year, she had a heart attack and had to recover in a nursing home. She was released several months later and moved into an apartment a block from my home. I was surprised when she approached me and said it was time to continue my lessons!

We started where we left off and her health deteriorated. She could no longer live alone. She moved into a house with a friend and took her piano with her. I walked to that house for lessons.

Her health got even worse and her daughter insisted that she move in with her. Pearl insisted that I keep taking lessons.

It wasn’t easy for her and it was just as hard for me. We didn’t own a piano. In the beginning, I walked 10 blocks to our church to practice and then I walked home. Some days it was a bitter cold walk.

I practiced for two hours each day…after all I had to make up time!

Four years later, she went into the nursing home permanently and I started playing for the services. She taught me to play by note and to play by ear. The choruses that we sang during that time did not come with music. Someone would sing it to you and you would pick out the chords on the piano.

By the time I was 20, I was not only learning new choruses, I was writing down the guitar chords over the words and giving them to the others in the band.

I still play twice a week in two different towns. I don’t plan on quitting. I learned from Pearl that you are never too old.

If you can dream it, you can do it.

This is the last lesson book I work in with my piano teacher, Pearl Pederson.

This is the last lesson book I worked in with my piano teacher, Pearl Pederson.

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