By Rosie Moore

Most of my columns are written with admonishments or thoughts for us “Seniors” but today I’m giving some advice to the younger set. Here’s why:

When I was around eight years old I had a friend at school and was invited to her home every day after school. I loved to go there–why? She had a piano. I would sit there and drum on it as long as she and her mother would let me. Her mother was so disappointed that my friend had no interest in that valuable instrument and I asked her why. She said she hated to practice. She wasn’t interested in learning to play it.

I don’t mean to brag but I was very good in the Music class at school, plus I was adept at singing. I knew the notes in the music book and it wasn’t long until I learned where they were on the piano. It wasn’t long until I could play, “Mary Had Little Lamb.”

My grandmother was delighted with this newfound ability and collaborated with an elderly neighbor, who was a piano teacher, to give me piano lessons. That didn’t go over too well. The lady wanted me to start out with learning notes and the basic rules that go with piano learning. Being the obnoxious little brat I was, I told her that I knew the notes, I could play “Mary Had a Little Lamb.” I wanted to learn to play other songs. That was the last of my piano lessons.

Many years later I was sorry I didn’t go further in my musical career. However, I did learn other songs, especially hymns and musical scores from movies.

The only fault with this scenario was I didn’t have a piano. But I had a wonderful friend.

When I was a teenager my church formed a group called “The Torch Bearers”. Every Friday evening we would go to the homes of bedridden, crippled folks who couldn’t get to church and have prayer meetings, songfests, and Bible reading. If there was a piano in the homes I always got to accompany the singers.

One of the leaders of this group was a man who walked spasmodically with cane due to a bout of polio when he was young. He loved young people and always took us for ice cream or some other snack after our meetings. I happened to mention one evening that I was praying for a piano. My prayers were answered because a week later two men climbed to my second-floor apartment toting this beautiful piano. When I asked who gave me this gift they said your “Torch Bearer” friend. I knew right away who they meant.

So, if there’s an instrument you love and want to learn to play, don’t neglect it. Practice! Practice! It will be a gift for you to treasure the remaining days of your life.

Thought for the day: To seek wisdom in old age is like a mark in the SAND; to seek wisdom in youth like an inscription in STONE. Solomon Ben Gabriol, an 11th century philosopher and poet.

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