When I was in primary school, every summer, the local music school I was attending in my hometown hosted special programs for the students during the summer break. The school would invite several professional musicians as instructors, and we could receive or audit their lessons. Many parents were eager to give their child an opportunity to learn from these external instructors.
The summer when I was eight, one of my childhood bestfriends was going to receive a special piano lesson from a professional pianist, and I went to audit the lesson. In the small lesson room, there was one piano and three rows of tables and chairs for the audience. I sat on the second row with my friend’s mother and little brother who was four years old at the time. Before the lesson started, my friend’s mother gave her son a drawing notebook and colour pens so that he could spend the next hour quietly without getting bored.
Some time passed since the lesson started, and my friend’s brother was drawing some human figures in his notebook. He was very quiet and showing no sign of boredom. Sitting next to him, I thought of giving him a little extra creative boost. I picked up one of his colour pens, and added an item to his drawing. He actually liked the addition I made and asked me to draw more. Within no time, it became a very interactive drawing session. I found myself not paying attention to the piano lesson, but rather engaged in this little drawing project.
Then, my friend’s brother became very excited. He started to speak and laugh out loud. In the small room, every sound was so audible. Everybody including the instructor looked in our direction. It was fine that a four year old was having fun with his drawing, but it looked less appropriate for an eight year old, who supposedly came here to audit the piano lesson, was having fun with drawing. In any case, I thought that our interactive drawing should not escalate any further. I told my friend’s brother that we had to tone down a bit. He understood it, and from then on, we kept our voice and excitement under control.
When the lesson was over, I was worried if we had been disruptive. But as we packed up to leave, my friend’s mother thanked me for playing with her son.
“Thank you so much for playing with him,” she said, then turned to her son. “Good for you! Thanks to her, you had a great time, didn’t you, honey?”
I cannot recall a single thing that I learned from that piano lesson, but I distinctively remember the fun drawing time I had with my friend’s little brother that day.