Archived post from “The Aroma of Bread,” first published 13 January 2016.
In 1938, when Marie was 16 years old, she and her brother, Arthur, would head to Chilton on Saturday, for a 2:00 p.m. music lesson. Marie, piano, and Arthur the violin. While cleaning out her attic in 2013, I discovered her piano report card tucked into a music book. It made me smile.
Stated on the “Student Account and Lesson Record” side of the card, her lessons that year cost forty cents a lesson, and her Book 5 lesson book was sixty cents. Well, to say “that year” is a bit of a stretch. Her report card states that she attended nine lessons between January 7th and April 15th.
The best part of the report card is the reverse side, the “Student Record Card.” From this side we learn that she was interested in playing Popular or Classical music, not Hill Billy or Church. Her ultimate ambition for taking piano: Entertainment. Her report card was mostly “A” for accuracy, concentration, aptitude, memorizing, analyzing, and general playing ability. She received a “B” for her rhythm, and a “C” for phrasing. The definition of phrasing is: “Does the music make sense–is it pleasing?” Hmmm. I would love to know what that means.
My favorite part of the card is her teacher’s remarks: “Exceptional talent. Keep on doing the best. Come more regular.”
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup milk
- 2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
- 1 tsp vanilla
Melt butter in a saucepan on low. Stir in brown sugar, and cook for 2 minutes. Add milk, cook until boils. Cool until lukewarm.
When lukewarm, add mixture to a small bowl. Using a hand mixer on low speed, add the sifted powdered sugar and vanilla. Mix until blended, then increase the speed of the mixer to high, and and mix until a spreading consistency.