New York Daily Photo Analytics

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Cello Class

Some years ago I fancied to learn the cello. New York City has some of the finest music schools in the country and they all offer alumni lists of musicians ready, willing and able to teach (at very reasonable prices). So, it was with this in mind that I found a great teacher/professional cellist, walking distance from my home to teach me. This woman was both a Juilliard School and Manhattan School of Music graduate and had extensive performing and teaching experience, both privately and in a well respected school for children.
I was, however, somewhat remiss in my studies, barely getting through the lesson material each week. Learning a classical stringed instrument as an adult is a daunting task - practicing as I did at night after a day's work. On one particular lesson, my instructor was getting rather frustrated with me. She asked what a particular note was as she placed a finger one of her strings. I said I did not know. She then asked, if one knew a note on one string (she gave an example), what was the note on a neighboring string? I did not know. Backtracking further, she then asked what was the interval between the strings on a cello? Embarrassed and panicked I just said I did not know that either (answer - one fifth apart).
At this point she said - "If you were one of my student children, I would insist that you learn this material. However, being that you are an adult, I strongly recommend you learn it, unless you would rather pay me $25 per hour to learn in class what you should be doing at home."
This story came to mind on Sunday afternoon, as I strolled down the tree-canopied sidewalk on Fifth Avenue, flanked on one side by some of the finest residential buildings in the world and abutting Central Park on the other side - a walk here is one of the most extraordinarily beautiful, bucolic, genteel experiences you will ever have in this city. The extra-wide pathway is shaded by mature trees, arching overhead to form a tunnel of green. Dappled light falls on the cobblestone and hexagonal pavers.
If you were one of my children, I would insist that on the next warm sunny day you accompany me as we promenade down Fifth Avenue. But since you are not one of my children, but an adult, I strongly recommend that you do this, unless you just want to read about this now, when you should be doing your life lessons outside of class :)

Photo Note: The photo was taken between 94th and 95th Street. The stretch between 96th and 89th Streets is one of the quietest on Fifth Avenue. Parades do not go north of 86th Street. It becomes much busier starting at 89th Street (location of the Guggenheim Museum) followed by the Metropolitan Museum of Art at 82nd Street.

Related Postings: Free Lunch, Cello, Bargemusic.

5 comments:

Will Hennessy said...

really enjoyed this post! LOVE the pic, the location is simply blissful IMO

info said...

Will,
This was an incredibly moving stroll. I'm glad the photo and story communicated that feeling.

Terry B said...

Brian, this photo immediately gave me a sense of place, put me right in one of my favorite spots in Manhattan. I could hear the sounds, smell the air and just, well, be there. You temporarily transported me from my office in Chicago, where rain is falling outside my window right now. Thank you.

Michelle Johnson said...

Delightful post Brian. I enjoyed catching a glimpse into your life as you walked down one of your favorite sidewalks. Beautiful pic. Have a nice night.

Brian Dubé said...

Terry and Michelle - thank you.