Plutification Blues

After yesterday’s puano blahg, my blahggy friend Margaret and I got into a wee side convo. It reminded me that waaayyyy back in the day, part of an aspiring elementary school teacher’s college curriculum was learning to play the piano!

I remember my Lincoln School kindergarten teacher Mrs. Ryan playing the piano and I think she was pretty good (and I would probably have noticed if she wasn’t). I have a hard time believing that the public schools actually expected people to learn how to play the piano in order to get a teaching certificate. A person is either musical or not. Not to mention that playing music in front of an audience (even kids) is very anxiety-inducing for most people. It figures into why I didn’t pursue a career in music in the long run. I fell into the IT biz and it’s been good. (Knock on wood.)

By the time the Planet Ann Arbor beach urchins went to kindergarten at the public school in our back yard, there were no pianos around. I don’t think elementary school teachers are required to learn basic piano nowadays. There were a lot of other things different about kindergarten at Haisley than my own Lincoln but we won’t go there for now.

My kids both had a WONDERFUL 3rd grade teacher who was a fantastic musician and kept a piano in his classroom. Whatever else he did with the piano, he taught the kids their multiplication tables by playing a piano piece of his own, the Multiplication Blues. He was wonderful and I thought it was great. I do have to wonder what my younger beach urchin thought. She had figured out how to count by threes before kindergarten and probably already had the times tables figgered.

At least none of us grew up in North Korea but that would be a whole ‘nother story.

One Response to “Plutification Blues”

  1. Margaret Says:

    Because my dad’s mom was a piano teacher but my dad never learned to his lifelong regret (too busy playing sports), we were required to take lessons. I took for 7 years, including recitals(scary) and adjudications(ultra scary). Then my own daughters learned to play the piano. They both still love to play, Alison more than Ashley. As you know, my mother majored in education and minored in piano at college. My daughters’ kindergarten teacher had a piano in her classroom and played it for a variety of reasons. When she wanted the students to sit down, she played and sang a certain song. Music plays an important role in my school district. It is such a valuable skill in many ways.