Thursday, January 16, 2014

Arthur The Art Teacher

Mr. Steinway sits holding his newborn in his arms. Not two hours old, the pinched little face stares up at its father but can only see shadows and muted colors. The father smiles back at the tiny face but his mind is on the future... He believes this son, Arthur, his only child, is destined to be a great pianist simply because his last name is "Steinway."
No one in the large family of uncles, aunts, cousins, nieces, and nephews shows any sign of musical talent. The Steinway name historically represents some of the greatest achievements in classical piano... Arthur has to be the chosen one!
The father began saving for a piano 9 months before the child was born. It hadn't mattered to him if the child were a boy or girl; this new member of the family would be a famous pianist some day!... He would see to it!
Mr. Steinway saved a bit here and some there dreaming of the day he would buy the piano, and in the late afternoon of Arthur's 3rd birthday, three burly friends who worked on the docks with Mr. Steinway helped him haul the upright piano the five flights to the top floor and into the family's large living room.
To Mr. Steinway's delight, Arthur developed a fascination with the piano keys. He would stand on his toes plunking out discordant notes. No one could call what he was pounding out music, but it was very-sweet-music to Mr. Steinway's hungry ears.
When Arthur was 5 years old his father hired a piano teacher... a Mr. Tyler. He would start Arthur learning musical notes. Mr. Tyler was a fussy, little man who wore a beret and a Vandyke. He smelled of moth balls and had terrible breath. Arthur disliked him and his regimented instruction.
Mr. Steinway, in his blind determination to have a pianist in the family, paid little attention to Arthur's exceptional artistic abilities. The boy has a facility with drawing that far surpasses his young years. He takes to art like a duck to water... yet he has to be dragged screaming to the piano.
Arthur would cry each time Mr. Tyler came to the house and run to his mother for protection. As time passed, Mr. Steinway gave up hoping for a famous pianist. He knows his son's true calling. He is coming to understand some very valuable information...
If you have a young child you must nurture that child with an eye for their natural talents rather than forcing on them a talent they don't enjoy.
Arthur Steinway grew up. He became a public school art teacher. He is fairly well known, internationally, for his innovative drawings... but he is very well known, throughout the state's school districts, for the amazing artwork his high school students continuously produce.

By Lewis Ferguson

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