I’m mentally prepared for rooms that are too cold, rooms that are too hot, pianos that are out of tune, photocopies that are missing bass lines. But sometimes I forget about the quirkiest things of all: people. Several months ago I had an amusing encounter with a teacher whom I was meeting for the first time.
Hi. My name is Eileen.
That’s not your real name.
That’s not what your parents call you at home. What’s the name they gave you?
My parents named me Eileen. I was born in the U.S.
Oh. You’re a Gringo like me!
(Later in the lesson I had a brief coughing fit.)
Are you sick?
I have a lingering cough from a cold, but I feel fine. It’s just annoying because I can’t sing.
Singers are all hypochondriacs. So are wind players, but not as much.
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At the end of the coaching, the teacher said I was quite a good pianist. Alas, “quite good hypochondriac Gringo pianist” does not fit on a business card!