One Handed Pianist: The imPossible Dream

One Handed Pianist: The imPossible Dream

One Handed Pianist: The Impossible Dream

Labor Day is just around the corner. For most students and teachers, this holiday marks the end of summer and the beginning of fall. While its always hard to see summer slip away, fall brings a renewed sense of passion to life. Seasonal changes remind me of this in such a lovely way. Colorful treetops stimulate creativity, and crunchy leaves hold crisp determination. Cool air breathes fresh inspiration. Welcome, Fall!

 Speaking of inspiration, last week I received a huge dose of it while attending a piano recital at the Kennedy Center. The pianist, Nicholas McCarthy, gave a breathtaking performance of classical repertoire including works by Bach, Liszt, Schumann, and other great composers. The startling component is that Nicholas has only one hand. Born without a right hand, his determination led him to study piano and eventually graduate from the Royal College of Music in London. He now performs worldwide, playing one hand repertoire and creating his own one hand arrangements whenever one doesn’t exist. Nicholas has tirelessly pursued his dream and plays exquisitely.

An experience like this calls for reflection. Questions continue swirling through my mind:

  • What dreams of my own (or others) have I dismissed as impossible?

  • Am I tirelessly pursuing my own passion?

  • What else am I capable of that I might not realize?

Fall is the perfect time to buckle down and make it happen. Or at least try. Embrace challenge. Thank you, Mark Twain, for saying it so well:

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

One Response

  1. Love this thought, Natalie! You’ve got me thinking about these questions myself. Thanks for the motivation!

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