|LESSONS WITH MS. DIXON
By: Jonathan Langager
Verleaner Dixon has always wanted to learn to play the piano. And at 100 years old, she’s not shy about asking for what she needs. She put it out into the world, and I heard her call. As she likes to say, “Ask and it shall be given!”
And so, once a week for the past two months, I have been giving piano lessons to Ms. Dixon. She’s been working hard, practicing her scales, and mastering Hot Cross Buns. Learning piano at any age is a challenge, but she’s up for it.
At first, lessons required lifting Ms. Dixon out of her wheel chair, up onto a raised platform, and onto the piano bench -- a strenuous endeavor. However, I put the ask out on social media, and Andrea Knox of Toluca Lake heard my call. She generously agreed to loan out her spare keyboard to Ms. Dixon. Now all we have to do is wheel her up to the keyboard. No more lifting. Ask and it shall be given.
As I’ve taught Ms. Dixon piano, she has taught me so much more about life and love, gratitude and belief. Every week she reminds me, “when you wake up in the morning, say ‘I am blessed!’” For someone steeped in the cynicism and self pity of our time, this can be a foreign concept. But if she can learn her scales at 100, I can learn gratitude at 41. Thank you, Ms. Dixon.