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My Education in Music
My earliest attempt at vocalizing was when I first entered this vale
of tears and burst into clarion song. When I was about one year old or
so, I had a habit of bursting into song at divers times of night and day,
songs of my all-powerful emotions, thirst, hunger, warmth,and cramps.
Being unskilled, I would immediately rise to a Crescendo in a vain attempt
to ruin both lungs and throat. Through the ministrations of my mother,
l learned to modulate my tones to retardendo, then diminuendo, and then
stop. Other musical outbursts, from then till six years, were the results
of firm applications of the palm of the hand, to that portion of my anat-
omy where it did the most good. Thus at a very early age I had a careful
and judicious training of my Vocal cords.
On entering the primary grades, I was instructed in the mechanical
side of singing, i. e., scales. The chef cl, oeuvre of all my attempts in song
was "Pussy, come and look at me". Within the next two years, I learned
to sing patriotic songs and psalms with real fervor and expression.
At this time, I decided that Paderewski had ruled the musical roost
long enough. I began to take lessons on the piano. Oh, the stiff wrists,
sore fingers, and aching back from which I suffered the first few weeks.
What disillusionment when I learned that I was not to play Mozart, Beet-
hoven, Liszt, et al. the first day, but finger exercises. But I was enthus-
iastic, until "marble time" and "aggie time" came around. I longed to be
outside, and always thought up excuses in order to get out. In a word, I
was sick of piano playing. The break came soon. The teacher rapped
my knuckles too hard. I quietly stood up, and with calm deliberation
thumbed my nose at her, and in calm and even tones consigned her to the
abyssmal depths of Avernus. Thus was Paderewski saved from being
driven into oblivion. That incident ended my musical education once
and for all.
Of course, during the years following, I learned to play on the har-
monica, and on the "Kazoo". As for vocalizing, I sang whenever the
fancy struck me, and later in the High School Glee Club and Tuesday
chorus. Although not a critic, I can now appreciate, or deprecate music,
vocal or instrumental. And I want you to listen well!-I absolutely
approve of "jazz".