Because I was born legally blind, my parents exposed me to as much music as possible. I don’t remember much of my early years, but my mother told some great stories later. One of these was about a time when I was five, and my parents had just bought a piano. It was intended as a toy for me, but when my mother heard me play the opening bars of Beethoven’s fifth symphony, she called a piano teacher.
I took piano lessons off and on for years but developed more of an interest in accompanying my singing of popular songs. However, in college, as part of my music major requirement, I performed Chopin’s Prelude in C Minor, which I enjoyed playing because it consists mostly of chords and no fancy melodic passages. After that, I became a registered music therapist, working with senior citizens in nursing homes and other facilities. I often played the piano and sang old standards as part of our activities.
Fifteen years later, I got married, and because I was writing as a hobby at the time, my husband persuaded me to quit my job and other obligations to be a full-time author. Three months after our wedding, he suffered the first of two strokes that paralyzed his left side. I cared for him at home until he died seven years later. I often played the piano and sang “Stormy Weather” and other favorites for him during this time.
Nowadays, I’ve published four books and a fifth is on the way. I still play the piano and sing but not often, and I don’t play classical pieces anymore. I wish, though, I could remember the day when, at the age of five, I played those opening notes of Beethoven’s fifth symphony that signaled fate knocking at my door.
What about you? Has a classical music piece impacted you in some way. I’d love to read about it, either on your own blog with a link to this page or in the comment field below. You can also share your classical music story here.
Abbie Johnson Taylor
We Shall Overcome
How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver
That’s Life: New and Selected Poems
My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds
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