Monday, 10 October 2011

“How can I get to Carnegie Hall?”

Just came across this at Greg Ross' Futility Closet....
Pianist Pete Brush was waiting for his wife outside a midtown department store when a woman carrying a violin case approached him and asked, “How can I get to Carnegie Hall?”
He said, “Go uptown to 57th Street and make a left to 7th Avenue.”

It reminded me of the story I would tell to my students every year. (Not sure where I heard this but personalized the whole thing into a classroom shaggy dog story... If you were ever in my class, surely you remember)

Years ago visiting New York for the first time to attend a concert that included an ex-student I got completely lost driving around. As the appointed hour approached and the streets seemed deserted I saw a down-and-out looking guy leaning against a brick building holding a brown bag with a bottle.  As I stopped and rolled down the car window I realized he seemed to be asleep standing there.  After several mumbled "excuse me"  attempts I tapped the horn gently... As one eye opened to glare at me I asked, "Can you tell me how to get to Carnegie Hall?"...

He closed his eyes and shook his head to clear the cobwebs, then looked at me with some empathy and said, "You gotta practice, Dude, ..You gotta practice really hard."

After the groans stopped I would point out that music, art, math, and most other things worth doing shared that same curse.  Not sure it ever had any effect, but I did love to pull their chains.

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