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House of Music – Levinson’s, Medicine Hat

Acrylic and mixed media on birch cradleboard

16 x 12″

I was sad to see another long-standing, Medicine Hat tradition close. Music is a needed and
soothing therapy in this fast paced world of technology.

I always wanted to take music lessons, but like most kids living in the flats from a large Catholic
family, we couldn’t afford a regular music lesson. Boy did I bug my mom to let me take piano
lessons. She finally relented and I started off on music lessons once a week. Yippee!

Levinson’s was the place to go for music books, instruments and song sheets. The shopkeeper
was so nice and helpful to anyone who showed an ounce of interest in playing an instrument. I
would run my hands over the stack of music books looking for that special piece I could maybe

I quickly figured out that you actually had to practice, and that music was a skill that didn’t
automatically pour into you because you simply wanted to do it.

You see, we didn’t even own a piano. My mother arranged for me to practice six blocks away at
Christ the King parish in the evenings and on Saturdays when there was no mass. For a kid in
grade seven, I was determined to be the greatest musician around so I could play for the church
choir, or so I thought. Reality set in, winter came and the walk to the church to keep up my
rigorous music scales and weekly songs became fewer and fewer.

When I look back now, I realize how selfish I was in thinking my mom could spare the $7 a week
to pay for the teacher. I am reminded of her kindness.

Needless to say, both my kids took piano lessons.

Photo Credits, Frank Webber