Updated: Oct 24, 2020
At this critical juncture I either had to get my grades up or part company with plans for a college degree. If my heart isn't into something, I will eventually lose interest and abandon it. At this point, the only thing my heart felt strongly about was music. So, I made an appointment with the Music Department Chairman to audition for placement as a music major. I showed up. We talked, and then he led me to a piano. I had availed myself of the plentiful pianos that were available on campus so I was able to improvise and play some rock pieces by ear but then he put some music down in front of me and asked me to play it.
Although I had been singing and playing in rock bands, I had not read piano music for eight or nine years. I took a deep breath, summoned all my concentration and will power and somehow managed to identify enough notes to stumble through a very shaky reading. When I had finished, I was assigned to an Intermediate adult piano class and given the go ahead to start registering for the core music classes required for music majors. I was grateful and realized that I had only squeaked through by the Chairman's kindness and the grace of God, but I was determined to make it work.
Later experiences showed me just how great a human being, musician and educator that Department Chairman was. He remains one of my role models, and I will always be indebted to him. As I said at the beginning of this blog, my background is anything but typical....