Every week after school I would go to my teacher’s home on the same rural road we lived on for my piano lesson.
Other students would be gathered in Sylvia’s kitchen doing their homework while Sylvia sat at the piano in her livingroom with a student. We always paid cash and I think it was $5 a lesson.
I would study piano and theory under Sylvia for five years and become certified after receiving my Grade 8 in piano and Gr. 2 in theory.
This was no ordinary piano class and Sylvia was no ordinary woman.
While we followed the Royal Conservatory courses, Sylvia also wanted us to learn pop songs.
She was stern yet pleasant at the same time. You had to be serious about your studies but there was always time for a laugh.
We would talk about the community around us or her grandchildren, with whom I attended school. Everybody knew everyone else.
On special occasion, Sylvia would send her students home with her famous chelsea buns. Everyone looked forward to those days.
She arranged for recitals for her students in the local church.
She encouraged us to be the best that we could be.
Sylvia came from a day when women tended the house and the children. She raised four boys, but she was determined to make her own way.
She was a strong woman and a great role model for her students. She stood her ground but she also had compassion.
It’s been years since I’ve seen Sylvia. She’d been living in a nursing home.
I imagine she brought new life to the home when she moved in. And I really hope she had the chance to play the piano while there.
You can read Sylvia’s obituary here: http://www.vanheckfuneralhome.ca/sylvia-morwood