November 29, 2009

USA: Music teachers bring great joy to our family

. BUFFALO, New York / THE BUFFALO NEWS / Opinion / November 29, 2009 MY VIEW Heidi Welsby: Music teachers bring great joy to our family Heidi Welsby, who lives in Buffalo, has great appreciation for music and those who teach it. As a mother of six children, the things in life that are consistent are the ones I count on the most. My husband is consistently kind. Our kids are consistently even tempered. Our families are consistently there for us and supportive. Then outside factors come into play, and that is where lack of consistency can really throw us a curve ball. If I lose consistency with people we count on, whether it is a supermarket, bank or any other people-service entity, it goofs up the day, which trickles down into the family. There is one factor in our lives that is always consistent, always on time, courteous, compassionate, caring and professional — our music teachers. Music is a very large part of our family life. I took piano lessons as a child. My husband is a gifted pianist. All of the kids play an instrument, except our youngest, who consistently does a dance on her mother’s last nerve, in a sort of musical manner I suppose. The school they attend has an amazing music teacher, Lynn Rezabek, who gives countless hours before, during and after school to bring music into our children’s’ life, bringing them all summer to Roswell Park to perform for the patients, to nursing homes, to convents. The consistency not only brings compassion to the kids, but it makes them aware that life does not revolve around an individual, but all individuals. We also have instrumental music teachers who teach our children. A drum teacher can relate to our son in such a way that I never have to ask him to practice. He loves it, and practices to the point where my body is drumming at least a half-hour after the drums stop. A violin teacher is gentle and kind, just as the child she teaches. Then there is the piano teacher. Marilyn Kielbasa comes into our home at 8:15 a. m. on Saturdays. One would think that a 14-year-old boy would complain about this ungodly hour of the morning being devoted to a piano lesson. This is not the case. He is up, early in fact, waiting for her. She has introduced classical music to him, and it is now such a part of his life that he posts “The Classical Piece of the Day” on his Facebook page. Thanks to her, I now recognize Mozart as well as I recognize the Rolling Stones. She has a recital twice a year for all of her students to give them the courage to get up in front of a group of people and play. This is a gift that they will carry throughout their lives. It is hard for many adults to do; yet she gives these kids such strong self esteem and encouragement, that they get up there with ease and play beautifully. At the last recital, she brought tears to my eyes. The true joy she feels with each student’s triumphs radiates in her kind face. She is always on time, pleasant and professional. Even when life is sometimes inconsistent for her, Marilyn never ceases to amaze me in the way teaching music takes all the troubles away. She always has a smile. She truly cares about her students’ success. The gift she has brought our family in teaching our children to play will follow them throughout their lives. Music is something you can play at any age. Every time I hear a song, see my parents dance, watch my mother-in-law get excited to share a new CD she is listening to or hear the music my husband and children play, I try to remember that without the music teachers, there would not be the abundance of beautiful music that fills our hearts and lives with emotion. The teachers who bring music into our lives are truly gifts to us all. [rc] © 2008 The Buffalo News.