A Farewell Student Piano Recital on Fire

In a white La Jolla chapel May 2004

Our daughter held a recital for her students and what’s more

The pupils and family came to wish their good-byes

Their attention was fixed on her with adoring eyes

As their maestro and mentor was leaving in a week

Knowledge, nature and spirituality to seek

Preparing her farewell address caused the tears to flow

From the lovely pianist who was privileged to know

Beginners she molded from four to seventy-four

From novices to the accomplished she opened a door

Her passionate love of piano and beauty too

Each had to develop on their own with so much new

Musical notes, rhythm, tempo, fingering and poise

Gradually they produced music within without noise

Asian, Jewish, Indian, Hispanic, White and Black

Purpose, determination, confidence, none did lack

Strolling up to the piano, sharing what they learned

A fire had been lit inside their spirits that burned

With enthusiasm as friends, parents and Brette cheered

Only a short time before a recital they feared

Music from popular to Beethoven and Mozart

Fingers, body, and mind drew energy from their heart

They were carefully trained to grow and improve with time

Their music flowed from them from the cute to the sublime

When finished all demanded their teacher to perform

Her Beethoven’s “The Tempest” simulated a storm

Captivated by enchantment the audience heard

No rustling of paper, coughing, or even a bird

Disturbed the magical 3 hour celebration

Smiling faces replaced the discord of our nation

She started a fire in these learners like a seed

That sprouted and blazed so that each of them could succeed

The students embraced their mentor with adoration

They had a creative artistic transformation

Of their imagination waiting for a catalyst

She entered their lives clearing away the fog and mist

That inertia in our lives impedes us not to strive

To light the fire inside and be fully alive

To those lyrical impulses for students she taught

Caring, discipline, determination can ‘t be bought

So now that she leaves all of her well-wishers behind

They have her gift of music and memories in their mind

Who enthralled all of her students, relatives and friends

With her spirit, grace, and care as she explores all ends

Awaiting a foreign world she will learn from and grow

We will long for her to return as off she must go

Hike roads untraveled by lakes, rivers, and nature’s wealth

That will energize her own and spiritual health

Remembering what you did for students young and old

Will brighten everyday with your lovely heart of gold


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This entry was posted in Music, Non-Fiction, poem, Poems, Writings and tagged , , , , , , by Daniel C. Lavery. Bookmark the permalink.

About Daniel C. Lavery

Dan’s writing shows his transformation from a child to an athlete and a Duke pre-ministerial student where he began to question ancient and arbitrary dogma. He graduated from Annapolis, navigated a Navy jet, and a ship to Vietnam, fell in love, turned peace activist and a civil rights lawyer for Cesar Chavez's UFW. His memoir, "All the Difference," describes the experiences, some humorous and others deadly, that changed his consciousness from a pawn to an advocate crusading for justice against some of the most powerful forces in America.

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