As the director of the Rockwall School of Music, I’m occasionally privy to following an individual’s musical progress from beginning to end. Here’s one story that, to this day, brings tears to my eyes each time it comes to mind.
Ring, ring….’Thank you for calling the Rockwall School of Music. How may I help you?’ Our usual phone greeting was followed in an unexpected way with this gentleman in his mid-40’s.
His response was simple and straightforward: “I need to enroll for drum lessons. What can you offer that gives me flexibility to receive lessons in spite of my erratic work schedule?”
I responded, “Obviously you have the passion so we’ll do whatever we can to find a lesson time that works for you.” He had enrolled for lessons by the end of the phone call, and his first lesson was later that week.
A few months later, while on a lunch break, I found myself in line to order food behind this man. As we exchanged small talk, I mentioned that I was the person with whom he had spoken when he called to enroll in lessons and told him how memorable his call was.
What he shared with me next was nothing short of stunning.
“The motivation behind my need for learning to play the drums goes back over 30 years. My 12th birthday was coming up and just like every other year, my dad asked what I wanted for my birthday. I told him I wanted a drum set. My dad, in his own way, offered other less expensive suggestions because the reality was that he couldn’t afford to buy me a drum set. In my pre-adolescent persistence, I promised him over and over that I would learn to play the drums. Before I knew it, my dad was working overtime and, on my birthday, he presented me with an amazing drum set. As days turned into weeks, my drum set sat there silently as other things vied for my attention. You see, my dad kept his end of the bargain but I didn’t. Now, all these years later, I want to honor my dad by finally keeping my end of the bargain.”
It’s amazing how music can weave in and out of our lives. For many of us, it never really ever leaves, it just gets pushed aside by other demands of life. This gentleman honored his father while also fulfilling his life-long dream of learning to play the musical instrument. He connected his heart with a passion that laid dormant for decades but never really never left.