For the Love of Music

The guys and their contented fan

The guys and their contented fan

At age 18, when I first started dating my husband Tom, he wanted to major in classical guitar. This, along with his shoulder-length red curls and his subvervise-looking military jacket, sent my parents into fits of hysterical worry from which they still haven’t quite recovered. Within one semester, however, Tom decided that performing onstage in front of an audience was not for him. He put his guitar away and switched to pre-med.

A couple of years ago, with two cross-country moves, two children nearly both grown, and a busy medical practice under his belt, he took out his guitar again for the first time in decades. He gave it some new strings, and began to strum.

What sparked the change, you might ask? Well, the environment is conducive. Here in Philly we have a classical guitar society which presents inspiring concerts. There’s quality guidance, too. Tom has found two fantastic teachers, one for classical and one for his new passion, electric guitar.

But perhaps the biggest impulse for re-igniting Tom’s interest in playing has been his friendship with our neighbor Gerhard. Gerhard is near Tom’s age. He speaks four languages, turns wood, has built a cottage in the woods for his wife Cookie, teaches middle-school boys full time, is an expert in sailing and horticulture, and – oh, yes, took up the classical guitar again after decades away.

Every Wednesday or Thursday night the guys get together to practice their duets. My daughter and I putter around doing our thing while deliberate strains of renaissance duos, an arrangement of Bach’s Invention Nr. 1, and Albeniz’s Tango float from the T.V. room. Often the metronome will tick, keeping them on track. There is much stopping, discussion and occasional laughter. I bring them cups of tea. The pooch lies on the sofa and listens.

It’s a scene of happiness.

Gerhard’s birthday is today. Happy Birthday, Gerhard. Thank you for bringing your love of music to our home.

There are 4 responses to “For the Love of Music”

  1. What a lovely post, Deb. I love listening to them, too. You are so lucky. They could easily come over here and practice… I’d too serve them tea — or even whisky! xxxxxxxxxx.

  2. well, shoulder length red hair and army jacket, that does sound scary! and playing the guitar for a living!
    you are lucky he turned out to be a solid citizen and given our progress at playing renaissance duets, i don’t think we are giving up our day jobs any time soon.
    thanks for bringing music in our lives deb, your piano playing is certainly a great inspiration. after not playing at all for so many years, it certainly is a lot of fun and very rewarding to be playing duets with tom
    sometimes, not often, it even sounds like music
    thanks for your patient ear, you must have heard La Rossignole about a thousand times over!

  3. That picture and this post make me so happy! They take me right back home…

  4. Ah, there is some real Hausmusik in that sweet note of yours!
    Can I stop by and have some tea too?