Beethoven said, ‘I wish you music to help with the burdens of life and to help you release your happiness to others.’
Edith Reed, piano teacher extraordinaire, and SUCH a person, says she tries to live by that philosophy and shared that quote when she was interviewed for this newspaper article. * My daughter was fortunate to study with her many years ago, and considers Edith as one of the great influences in her life.
I always loved sitting through her lessons and listening to Edith's wisdom as she taught. Each week my children and I were guaranteed a magical moment: entering the iron gate to her garden which leads to her charming, small home. Her colorful and fragrant gardens make the Secret Garden look like a weed patch.
Edith managed not only to influence my daughter, but our whole family. How? Her wise words, the way she nurtures her beautiful home and garden and simply the way she lives her life. She is a treasure.
Edith graduated from Columbia University and also studied at Julliard. She has so much to offer and "for more than 60 years, she has offered free lessons to
Diligence. “All I ask of my students is that they practice diligently,” she says. “City children don’t have chores to do. They don’t have cows to milk or carrots to sow. So practicing the piano for an hour a day is a wonderful discipline. I always say, ‘Most of the world’s work is done by people who don’t feel like doing it, so get busy. You’re not so different.’ ”
One Day at a Time. “I teach them that I take care of the garden one plant at a time, just as I take care of the house one room at a time,” she says. “And that also applies to the piano. How do we learn? One stanza at a time. Like Ralph Waldo Emerson said, ‘That which you persist in doing becomes easy to do.’ ”
Edith Reed knows the day is approaching when strains of Mozart will no longer drift from her back windows, but she doesn’t dwell on the inevitable.
“One day at a time,” she says, turning the page to another opus. "As long as I’m able, you’ll find me at my piano. It’s my life’s passion."
One song at a time.
*[Quoted sections taken from "94 years and 88 keys add up to one grand lady", by Cathy Free, Desert News, March 15, 2012]
* Photo of Edith Reed with my daughter Shannon Soper, October 2002.