Painting Heaven’s Stars

It occurred to me the other day while driving and listening to classical music that who I would like to meet when I get to heaven is…

now that is a loaded question...wait…would it be my parents, grandparents, siblings, old friends, enemies, famous names and faces….maybe John Kennedy, Booker T. Washington, Viola Ruffner, Jesus, Edgar Allan Poe, Elizabeth Dickenson, Leonard Bernstein, Joan of Arc?

Then tears came to my eyes and who I would really like to meet, thank, and enjoy are the names of the composers in all my piano books growing up. Now this would necessitate some introductions, so for that task, I would call on Alys Sikorski, my first piano teacher from age nine to thirteen. She taught me once a week before school in her home and I earned gold stars stuck at the top of pages that she deemed I had mastered. I am grateful to have received the greatest gift my parents ever gave me, piano lessons.

To this day when/if I practice, I envision her looming presence, tapping a pencil with the song rhythms, stopping me to go back and start again. I believe I would practice even more if she were still around to stand above me, pulling me through the ledger lines, inspiring me to learn the history behind the composers, reminding me to curve my fingers and stretch beyond octaves.

Where would Mrs. Sikorski start? I wondered if Czerny would be as busy and organized as his piano scales and repetitions used for finger mastery. Or the giddy and talented “OMG it’s Mozart,” skittering from note to note at rapid pace, or thundering Beethoven, or Papa Haydn, oratorios Handel, gifted Schubert, temperamental Mendelssohn, bearded Brahams, virtuoso pianist Schuman, poetic Verdi, Master Baroque Bach or the one whose chords and sounds pull my heart strings whenever I hear his music? Sergei Rachmaninoff. Pull my heart strings every time Piano Concerto No. 3 in D minor, Op. 30.

Perhaps if we were given an opportunity to make a heavenly plan for meeting stars, going would not be so gripping. Well, now I have a plan!


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