Since late November, 2012, I have been teaching my daughter how to play the piano and one of the first songs we wanted to learn to play was Diary by Alicia Keys. It has a beautiful melody. I knew it would be complex especially since neither one of us can read music. With the help of a Youtube video, I was able to learn how to play the full song as well as her freestyle at the end and then pass the lesson onto my daughter, Destiny who is shown in the video. She picked up on the notes rather quickly. It was almost like the way Nick Cannon picked up on Drum beats in the movie Drumline where he would watch the person’s hands to see how he played and then mimic the drum beat afterwards. Because my daughter played so beautifully at my mother’s house on her piano, she wanted to try out for the school’s talent show.
Destiny is one of those really smart children who unfortunately is picked on. She’s a sweet kid, though she is no angel. But her good outweighs her bad. Unfortunately, since she has gotten into trouble a few times, she was already stereotyped as “one of those kids”, which is really a shame. The day of the tryout, her former third grade teacher along with another staff member saw that she was going to be trying out and I guess they expected her to get on stage and dance around acting simple on some “whip my hair back and forth foolishness”. And the look of suspicion and doubt on their faces when she said she was going to play the piano was so disappointing. However, my daughter shut them all up. She sat at the piano and looked back at me for my approval and I gave her a head nod to let her know to do her thing. The looks on the faces of the people conducting the tryouts when she broke out in Diary on the piano in a smooth and flawless manner was PRICELESS. I still remember one lady in particular, Ms. Campbell say- “Wait a minute, Miss Destiny has talent! Little Miss Destiny can really play the piano!” Yes, Little Miss Destiny and a lot of other kids are much more than too many write them off to be. Not only did they accept her into the talent show, but they made her the encore performance.
I watched the way the talent show was conducted and what I found to be very disappointing was the lack of respect that the student body had for their fellow peers as they performed. Though nobody boo’ed, thankfully, the talking and laughing while students performed was just sad. And the lack of control the adults including the principal had over those children was even more sad. When I was a student at John F. Reynolds (which unfortunately will be one of the schools closing at the end of the term), my old principal Dr. Harvey was a force to be reckoned with. And when she wasn’t the MC of an assembly but Ms. Stuckey was, nobody DARED to utter a sound when someone was on the stage because they didn’t want to find themselves on the receiving end of her yard stick. At Pennypacker, the adults put little to no effort into quieting those students down until Destiny took the stage.
Ms. Campbell was sure to quiet the students down and had them give Destiny their undivided attention. She went onto say how she and Destiny had their difficulties and that she never would have guessed that Destiny was as talented as she was. A few students began their chitter-chatter at first but when they heard the first few notes to Diary by Alicia Keys and recognized what she was playing, everyone quieted down and my girl did her thing! At the end she received a standing ovation. Passing through the hallways afterwards, she was given so much praise and when the principal saw me, she gave me a thumbs up.
Seeing the kind of talent that my daughter has as well as some of the students in the talent show is a major reason why we have to invest in our children. We have to show interest in the things that interest them and do our best to let them indulge in various activities to help them shine. If their talent is wasted, or they aren’t allowed to tap into that talent, that could be a factor that causes them to fail in life.
Destiny is still playing the piano. Since the talent show, I have taught her how to play Girl on Fire & Unlock Yourself by Alicia Keys. I am also trying to learn Circles by Marques Houston as well as Apologize by One Republic so Destiny can learn those songs as well. Children who are perceived as “bad” really aren’t all bad. They just need an outlet, something to do that is of interest to them. Idle minds lead to the Devil’s work and that’s something we must never forget when raising our children. Below is the video from Destiny’s school talent show performance. I hope you enjoy! It’s a little shaky at the end because my hands began trembling. Not because I was nervous, but because I was so proud!
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