Althea was my piano teacher, and one of my very favorite people ever. She was positive about everything she said and taught. She called her students “her children.” For sure, her music studio felt like a foster home, safe from the emotional hazards of childhood.
There are many kinds of music teachers; I wouldn’t want to claim that Althea was better than other types of music teachers. But Althea was my music teacher, to whom I owe so much of my musical identity and my overall personality.
Althea never demanded perfection. Perhaps I should blame Althea for my imprecise piano playing, but I don’t. It’s just not in me play perfectly. If Althea had demanded perfection, I would not have lasted six months. Althea taught music, and the love for it. Althea never spoke about religious ideas; she never preached; but through demonstration she taught love itself, by highly valuing me as a young person, by encouraging me to express myself musically.
Althea was my music teacher from my first lesson, on my eight birthday (the lesson was a present from my parents) until I left for college. I was one of Althea’s many children who have loved her as she did us.