At the prodding of my friends I am writing this story. My name is Mildred Honor. I am a former elementary school Music Teacher from Des Moines, Iowa. I have always supplemented my income by Teaching Piano Lessons ... something I have done for over 30 years.
During those years I found that Children have many levels of musical ability, and even
though I have never had the prodigy, I have taught some very talented students.
However, I have also had my share of what I call 'Musically Challenged’ Pupils. One
such Pupil being Robby. Robby was 11 years old when his Mother (a Single Mom)
dropped him off for his first Piano Lesson.
I prefer that Students (especially Boys) begin at an earlier age, which I explained
to Robby. But Robby said that it had always been his Mother's Dream to hear him play
the Piano, so I took him as a Student.
At the end of each weekly Lesson he would always say 'My Mom's going to hear me
Play someday'. But to me, it seemed hopeless, he just did not have any Inborn Ability.
I only knew his Mother from a distance as she dropped Robby off or waited in her
aged Car to pick him up. She always waved and smiled, but never dropped in.
Then one day Robby stopped coming for his Lessons. I thought about calling him, but
Assumed that because of his lack of Ability he had decided to pursue something else.
I was also glad that he had stopped coming. He was a Bad Advertisement for my Teaching!
Several Weeks later I mailed a flyer recital to the Students' homes.
To my surprise, Robby (who had received a flyer) asked if he could be in the Recital.
I told him that the Recital was for current Pupils and that because he had dropped
out, he really did not Qualify.
He told me that his Mother had been Sick and Unable to take him to his piano lessons,
but that he had been practicing. 'Please Miss Honor, I've just got to Play' he insisted.
I don't know what led me to allow him to play in the Recital - perhaps it was his
insistence or maybe something inside of me saying that it would be all right.
The night of the Recital came and the high school gymnasium was packed with Parents,
Relatives and Friends. I put Robby last in the Program, just before I was to come up
and thank all the Students and Play a finishing piece. I thought that any damage he
might do would come at the end of the Program and I could always salvage his poor
performance through my 'Curtain Closer'.
Well, the Recital went off without a Hitch, the Students had been Practicing and it
Showed. Then Robby came up on the stage. His Clothes were Wrinkled and his Hair
looked as though he had run an egg beater through it. 'Why wasn't he dressed up like
the other Students?' I thought. 'Why didn't his Mother at least make him Comb his
Hair for this Special Night?'
Robby pulled out the Piano bench, and I was Surprised when he announced that he
had chosen to play Mozart's Concerto No.21 in C Major. I was not prepared for
what I heard next. His fingers were light on the keys, they even danced nimbly on
the Ivories. He went from Pianissimo to Fortissimo, from Allegro to Virtuoso;
his Suspended Chords that Mozart demands were Magnificent! Never had I heard
Mozart played so well by anyone his age. After six and a half minutes he ended in a
Grand Crescendo, and everyone was on their feet in Wild Applause!
Overcome and in Tears, I ran up on stage and put my arms around Robby in Joy.
'I have never heard you Play like that Robby, how did you do it?' Through the
Microphone Robby explained: 'Well, Miss Honor, Remember I told you that my
Mom was sick? Well, she actually had Cancer and Passed Away this Morning.
And well... she was Born Deaf, so tonight was the first time she had ever heard
me Play, and I wanted to make it Special.'
There wasn't a Dry Eye in the house that evening. As People from Social Services
led Robby from the stage to be placed in to Foster Care, I noticed that even their
Eyes were red and Puffy. I thought to myself then how much Richer my Life had
been for taking Robby as my Pupil.
No, I have never had a Prodigy, but that night I became a Prodigy... of Robby. He was the Teacher and I was the Pupil, for he had taught me the meaning of Perseverance and Love and Believing in Yourself, and may be even taking a chance on someone and you didn't know why.
Robby was Killed years later in the Senseless Bombing of the Alfred P. Murray
Federal Building in Oklahoma City in April, 1995.
A Footnote to the story. If you are thinking about Forwarding this Message, you are probably wondering which People on your address list aren't the 'appropriate' ones to receive this type of Message. The Person who sent this to you believes that we can all make a Difference!
Unfortunately, this was one of those stories where they want you to at least 'forward' to one person. I don't care for those so I decided to post the story, here on my website. You can make up your own mind, about the worthiness of the story. I do not know the origin of this writing, as it has been circulating in cyberspace.