What do a local hearing aid dealer and a math teacher have in common?
The are both volunteer piano players for the Old Folks Home where I live. Both had bands when they were young. Both play wonderfully entertaining songs. But in a different respect, they are opposite.
The hearing aid dealer, a doctor, plays only by ear. His repetoire is immense. Call out a tune and he plays it. That's the way he puts together his play list, He sits at the piano, asks for requests, and when a title is called out, he tells a story about that tune, and plays it
The math teacher, on the other hand, plays only from sheet music. "I like to play it the way it was written," he says. His repetoire is vast too, he has collected nearly 5000 songs in sheet music form. As for requests, you have to make them a week ahead, so he can go through his files and select the msuic to bring. He remembers what you ask for, and plays it, the next time he comes.
The Math teacher brings a stack of music from his files, and plays through it, in alphbetical order. "Today we're doing the S's," he will say. We listen and guess the name of that tune. It is a music performance and a quiz game.
George, the Math teacher is a favorite of mine, he encorages me to accompany him on my harmonicas. He tells me the key the song is in, I select the correct harmonica and play along. Funny, I can't solo, but I can accompany him by ear. And George comes twice a week and plays for a couple of hours each time. The hearing aid doctor came once a month.
They are both great entertainers.