Happy Mother’s Day to My First Piano Teacher, My Mom

Mom_and_lisa_in_skaneateles_00

It all started when I was seven years old. Some men came to our house and began taking down the front door. I was in my pajamas and my mom told me to go change and when I was dressed, we’d have a surprise. I, of course, thought we were getting a new front door. Moments later I heard the most glorious sounds I’d ever heard in my seven years of life.
 
I came out to the living room and my mother was playing a new piano. I had never heard her play and I was completely mesmerized and transformed. I was very eager to touch the keyboard and make the sounds she was getting, but I didn’t know how. So she started teaching me piano. She hadn’t planned on that. The piano was really bought for my older sister, Pam, five years my senior. But, my mother thought, “as long as I’m teaching Pam, I might as well teach Gail (next oldest in age) and Lisa.” What she didn’t realize is that I was going to get ahead of them very quickly, something a younger sibling is never supposed to do. So, Pam and Gail quit (and later pursued other artistic endeavors), and my mother recognized my musical talents and sent me on to a professional teacher.

Not only did she make sure that I had the best piano teacher in town, but she ended up devoting hours upon hours driving me to piano lessons, taking me to hear the Syracuse Symphony on Friday nights, accompanying me to piano competitions, and wiping my tears or celebrating with me in joy throughout all of those journeys.

My mother will be the first to vouch that my love of dogs didn’t come from her, it came from my father. Dad could talk “Dog” forever and tell stories all night every night about all the dogs of his childhood. And my dad would have been the first to admit that I certainly didn’t get my music talent from him or his side of the family. My artistic talents came from my mother and other relatives on her side of the family, including my grandfather’s first cousin, the famed tenor Jan Peerce.

My mom wanted to make sure that I had what she didn’t, the ability to pursue my artistic dreams. She had the musical talent, but her parents couldn’t provide the proper education to support it. I am so grateful to have been supported so fully by my parents in all of my music endeavors. While it was beyond anybody’s imagination that I would later be recording music that helps calm dogs, my mother is always the first to ask “What’s going on with Through a Dog’s Ear?” I still can hear her voice from when she called me after viewing The CBS Early show feature of Through a Dog’s Ear over two years ago. (I’m in California and she’s in New York, so she saw it three hours before me). I honestly don’t remember ever hearing her sound so excited, especially when she called later in the day to tell me that Music to Calm your Canine Companion, Vol. 1 had reached number 10 in the Amazon charts, among all styles of music.

These days, instead of accompanying me to music events, she just clicks on my Through a Dog’s Ear Facebook page and reads what I’ve been up to and how dogs are experiencing the benefits of my music. I think she is proud that I’ve been able to combine my passion for music with my love of dogs to help improve the lives of dogs worldwide. And if it weren’t for her recognition and belief in my music talents, I don’t think Through a Dog’s Ear would have ever been created. So dogs everywhere, please woof “Thank You” to my mom, Trudy Spector and join me in wishing her a very Happy Mother’s Day.

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