I've recently remembered a couple of stories I thought I might like to share with you. I'm not usually one for the whole 'overcoming adversity' thing but for some reason these popped into my head so I thought I would put them up here.
The first is something my parents were told when I was born. Apparently (according to my mom) when they asked if I was going to be ok, a doctor replied with the classic line 'well he's never going to be a concert pianist.' She first told me this story one day when she heard me playing the piano in our house. While I am by no means a 'concert pianist', I can play a little, but I also doubt the doctor in question would ever have pictured me playing any of the instruments I can play now. I can't say that this has given me an edge when wanting to learn any of these instruments, but I do look back on how I picture that story going with a wry smile.
The second story is about my middle school music teacher, Miss Williams. To add some background to this story, Miss Williams was the third music teacher I had had in as many years. The first, Mrs Ormston, was a lovely lady who had a lot of time for me. She left to teach in another school. Then came Mr Wylde, another nice guy who appreciated my love for music. He (similar to myself) fell victim of the workload of teaching and left to pursue a career in performing. I still see him from time to time at weddings we are both performing at. Then came Miss Williams. On her first day she went around the class and asked everyone what musical instrument they might like to learn. When she got to me, I said I wanted to learn upright bass. I didn't really even know what one was, but my grandad had played one in a jazz band and I thought it would be nice to learn the same instrument as him. Her response;
'I don't think you will be able to do that. How about you try keyboard.'
I knew straight away she had taken one look at me and dismissed me. Not only that, but she had tried to fob me off on an instrument I had zero interest in. Why? Maybe in part because it was her instrument and thus easier for her to teach, but I'd guess that it had more to do with her perception that I would find playing an instrument like that impossible.
If only she could see me now, eh?