Tuesday, August 7, 2018

“Rise to the level of the child.” - Dr. Shinichi Suzuki

From “The Human Condition: A User’s Manual,” by Arnold Kunst
7 August
Arnold Kunst and the Piano, Part One
When I was 7 I saw a little-known Disney movie called “Johnny Appleseed.” One of the movie’s songs was “The Lord is Good to Me.” When I came home I picked the tune out on the [unused] piano, then told my Mommy and my Daddy that I wanted to take piano lessons.
I did, for three years. At the end of my 4th grade I even made it to Prince Charming during the end-of-year Cinderella-themed recital. But family financial troubles meant we couldn’t afford the cost [$100 for a school year] so I quit that year.
I took it up again when I was in high school, and minored in music in college.
I taught my very first piano lesson at 23 in the summer of 1964 to a 5-year-old girl living next door to us. She told her mother she wanted me to teach her piano,  and when her mother asked me I said, “Sounds fun, but I’ve never taught piano before.” The mother, with great wisdom, said in reply, “All you have to do is get a book that’s at her level, and then just stay a few pages ahead of her. After all, she’s only five, right?”
Well, I did take her on. Of course, the kid’s mother was dead right. Eventually I became qualified, would you believe, with the Royal School of Music in London; I taught piano for the next 20 years. It was a fun 20 years, believe me. And I never looked back!

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