Thanks to Chironomo for responding to an earlier post about the apprenticeship model. He helped me recall a very fond memory. The Christmas that I was in third grade stands out as one of the most memorable for me. Under the tree that year was a small wrapped gift, very light in weight. As was the custom among my five sibling and me, I shook that gift, but it seemed empty. When I inwrapped it, I discovered the best Christmas gift I had–or ever would—receive. There was a piece of paper with my Mom's handwriting on it. It said something like: "Jerry Galipeau will now begin piano lessons with Sister Julie Maria, SND, at St. Charles School in Woburn, Massachusetts." I had been self-taught up until that point on a little Magnus Chord Organ, (picture above) and then a Silvertone organ my parents had purchased at the Sears Surplus store in Boston. I was thrilled. This gift signaled the beginning of what would be an unimaginable journey for me as a third grader—a journey that has led me to this desk—as associate publisher—here at World Library Publications. Those early years of piano lessons at the convent were just great. I loved practicing (and driving my sisters, who were trying to watch their soap operas, crazy—"Jerry, play softer!!!) and completing book after book of those piano courses. I will never foget playing "We Gather Together" on the ancient Hook and Hastings tracker pipe organ at St. Charles Church for the School's Thanksgiving Day Mass (church exterior pictured below). I was in fifth grade and remember to this day how thrilling that was. As the motto of St. Julie Billiart, the foundress of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur says, "Ah! qu'il est bon le bon Dieu!" (Oh, how good is the good God!)
Today, surrounded by a staff here at WLP (many of whom are very talented musicians), I am grateful for the gift of music, for my parents' great gift of piano lessons, for Sister Julie Maria, SND, and for the gift that music has been in my own life. Feel free to share your own stories by hitting the comments button below. "Anonymous" comments are most welcome.