The kid hits a high note

Not a recent story, but something I would have blogged about if I were blogging then.

The little girl, maybe 10 years old, came up to me after Spanish Mass. She looked at the piano, then at me, then at the piano again.

“Can I touch the piano?” she asked.

It does want to be touched.

It does want to be touched, I suppose.

Um, OK, I thought. Unusual request. But sure.

She slowly extended a hand toward the piano. Then, even more slowly, she extended a finger over one of the keys. Then, nervously giggling, she pulled it back. Then she extended the finger again.

She hit one key. Then she squealed and squeaked, shaking a little bit, pleased with herself. She hit another key and squeaked again.

It was like she’d never touched a piano before — and she probably hadn’t.

The neighborhood that my main church is in is a lower middle class/working class neighborhood. The parents work hard, but can’t necessarily provide everything they want to for their kids. Chances are, they can’t afford to buy a piano — or even a decent electric keyboard. The schools are underfunded and probably don’t do a whole lot in the way of music classes. None of that was true for me, and it’s an adjustment to try to understand how the families out here live. They’re not suffering, mind you, and they don’t need our pity, but it’s still not the same.

So I don’t mind when they — or their parents — ask about whether I give piano lessons. (No, padres, lo siento. Yo no tengo tiempo.) I don’t mind occasionally banding a few of them together for a kids’ choir. And if I can make their week just by letting them hit a couple keys on the piano, then there’s no reason not to.


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