Music and Me-Part 1

21 Mar


My husband, Fred, suggested that I write something about music and me.  Music has been such a part of my life, that I thought it might be a good topic to write about.

I don’t remember a whole lot of music in my life when I was very young, but I do remember that I started taking piano lessons the day I started first grade in public school.  I believe my teacher’s name was Mrs. Allen, and I went to her house to have my lesson.  I don’t remember what “books” I was given to play from.  I’m sure they were quite simple.  I know that now, most professionals won’t start teaching a new student unless the student knows how to read.  After all, the piano keys are “lettered” with A-B-C-D-E-F-G.  And then it starts over again – we call those “octaves” as the eighth key starts the alphabet over again, just either higher or lower all across the keyboard.

In that vein, I must have been reading by 1st grade.  And back in those days, kindergarten was not part of the public school system.  So my Mother and Father must have taught me to read.

1950 – Judy at the old upright piano – nine years old

1950 – Judy at the old upright piano – nine years old

1952 – Mother, Agnes, and Judy with the new piano
1956 – Judy at the piano – 15 years old

1958 – Judy at the old pump organ in Aunt Jessie’s house – 17 years old

1963 – Judy at the piano with her favorite niece, Charlene Lites

In any case, I took piano lessons from 1st grade all the way through 12th grade.  The teacher that I studied with the most, Mrs. Jordan (later Mrs. Larsen) also had me enroll in a correspondence theory course with the Sherwood School of Music.  I completed that course.  However, I was not a “prodigy” with the piano.  I could play the music, and usually with some feeling or emotion, but I didn’t have a “gift” of music.  I cannot play “by ear” as so many I know can.  I have envied that gift, but am comfortable with what I have, and God has used my talent for His Glory….and that is all I can ask.

From a previous post, I wrote:  I always remember there being a piano in the house.  Mother would sometimes sit down and play her favorite hymns from memory, with embellishments.  Occasionally we four would gather around the piano and sing along – Mom playing, Daddy on bass, brother on tenor, me on soprano. 

1952 – Mother, Dad, Bill and Judy around the piano

I have been church pianist in several churches, and even organist occasionally – much to my regret!  I am NOT an organist!  While I don’t usually have problems with my right hand coordinating with my left hand, I do have problems with both of those going along with my feet!  I have accompanied singers.  I have accompanied violinists.  I have accompanied group singers.  So I haven’t wasted my talent.

I remember one summer, possibly following my senior year in high school, Mrs. Larsen encouraged me to try a two-piano duet.  She had me play with another Judy, who was a distant friend from high school and the head cheerleader of our high school.  We had great fun playing together.  It was a rather difficult piece, but the final product was fantastic!  We played “Malagueña” from the Andalucia Suite, by Ernesto Lecuona.  It’s a magnificent piece.  I don’t remember that we actually performed it anywhere, just for ourselves, but we loved it.  I purchased the sheet music for that as well as for Andalucia itself, and learned to play it myself.  Really beautiful music.

~~~~~~~~~To Be Continued~~~~~~~~~~

Judy is living in Central Florida with her retired U.S. Air Force husband of 50+ years. Born in Dallas, Texas, she grew up in the Southwestern United States.She met her husband at their church, where he was attending the university in her town. After college and seminary, he entered the Air Force, and their adventures began.They lived in eight of our United States, and spent six years in Europe, where their oldest daughter was born. She was a stay-at-home mom for many years .

  Judy has always been involved with music, both playing the piano and singing. Always interested in exercise, she was an aerobic dancing instructor, as well as a piano teacher for many years, and continues to faithfully exercise at home.

After moving to Central Florida, she served as a church secretary for nearly nine years.Her main hobby at this point in time is scanning pictures and 35mm slides into the computer. She also enjoys scrapbooking.She and her husband have two married daughters and four grandchildren, including grandtwins as well as a great-grandson. She and her husband enjoy the Disney parks as often as possible.

5 Responses to “Music and Me-Part 1”

  1. starlightreadingtx May 21, 2021 at 5:44 pm #

    This was a really nice post to read through! The photos are so sweet. I didn’t learn to really play an instrument until middle school. I played the bassoon of all things haha! I daydream a little bit about signing up my daughter to play the piano. But she’s only 1 year old so we still have some time to decide! 🙂


  2. Billie Hayes March 22, 2021 at 2:31 am #

    I fully remember the newer piano, because you and my sister Becky spent quite a bit of time at that instrument with me playing and singing our famous trio arrangements
    of “Sugartime”, “Old Cape Cod”, “Muskrat Ramble” and too many religious songs to remember. Recall that we never had any sheet music for our pop tunes. We actually sang on the radio “live”. Do you recall that? Oh…memories…how sweet they are.

    Liked by 2 people

    • ludyja March 23, 2021 at 9:17 am #

      Billie…Loved your comments! I don’t think I knew you when we had the old piano. But yes, we (you, Becky and I) did spend a lot of time around that new piano. I actually had forgotten that we never had any sheet music. We just copied what we heard, didn’t we? And we were REALLY good! Fred kept saying we needed to cut a record! In addition to those songs you mentioned, I remember “Mr. Sandman” and others. Yes, I do remember singing “live” on the radio. Do you remember the giggles we got into trying to sing w/o the piano over the school PA system? We should never had looked at Becky – she started that whole thing!! What fun we had together. I really LOVED singing with you two! As you said, those memories are really sweet. And BTW – I love the way you write. Have you ever considered writing for a Christian blog? My blogmeister would love to have some fresh blood!


  3. pam March 21, 2021 at 8:02 pm #

    Hi Judy, I enjoyed your piano memories. Do you recall the make and age of the piano pictured in the picture1950 – Judy at the old upright piano – nine years old? It reminds me of the one my grandmother had. I believe her’s was made of oak and the keys I believe were made of ivory. I am working on a poem about it and in look for an old photograph and image that is similar to the one I have in memory. Thank you for any information you can provide. Pam

    Liked by 1 person

    • ludyja March 23, 2021 at 9:05 am #

      Pam, thank you for reading my post, and I am pleased that you enjoyed my piano memories. Unfortunately, I have not been able to find any other pictures of that piano. I’ve searched my pictures, my brother’s pictures (another blogger, Bill Lites), and what I have of my parents, all to no avail. I also asked my brother to search his pictures to see if he has something I do not. But he doesn’t. I have no memory of the make or model of our piano, or if the keys were ivory. I’m fairly confident that they were ivory, however. I’m assuming my parents brought it with them from Dallas in 1945, but they could have purchased it in Albuquerque in the 1940’s after we moved there. Wish I could help you more. Be sure and send me that poem!


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