Sep. 23, 2019


From the age of nine, I studied piano with a teacher named Mrs. Easter. She was strict and demanding; cold and overly-critical; but I learned to play well under her tutelage. When I was almost fifteen years old, my teacher arranged for a professional pianist and composer—in town for a concert appearance—to spend the afternoon at her music studio to judge and evaluate her piano students. The well-known musician, probably in his thirties, listened to my recital pieces and when I finished, began talking with me.

 Several times, Mrs. Easter rudely-interrupted our session to ask when he would finish with me, stating other students were waiting their turn. He patiently replied: “So far, of those I’ve auditioned, Sally demonstrates the most promising talent. It is important for me to hear her complete repertoire.”

The piano judge seemed fascinated by my left hand, asking how I had developed such strength and clarity in that one hand. When I explained I was left-handed, the judge opened his briefcase—pulled out one of his original composition—wrote a few words--- then scrolled his name across the top and placed it in my lap.

The music, “Piece for Left-Hand only” seemed quite appropriate. Grateful for his praise, high scores, and the autographed composition, I extended my hand as a thank-you gesture. To my surprise, the judge put his arms around me in an affectionate hug.

Leaving the studio, I passed Ms. Easter standing in the doorway. Apparently, she’d watched the exchange between the piano judge and me. Her mouth curled in a snarl, my teacher marched me to the outside door before releasing her anger:

“Just like some common hussy, you flirted with that judge so he’d give you high marks. I have many students who play much-better than you! The only reason you won the best performance award was because you are a flirtatious little Bitch!”

Who knows why--even today-- so many women, for all my life, have viewed me as a “threat” someone they must immediately… hate. It's taken almost a lifetime to realize---- I HAVE NEVER  BEEN THE PROBLEM.  INSECURE, JEALOUS, AND HATEFUL WOMEN WILL ALWAYS BE "THE PROBLEM". 


FOLLOW-UP: Forty years later--long after I’d changed piano teachers-- received a music scholarship to attend Lindenwood College for Women and moved far-beyond Pine Bluff, Arkansas for a successful life--I learned that my former piano teacher was brutally tortured and murdered.

After so many years, the case remains open and unsolved.

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