Readers Digest Books


Terry – is this the book you wanted to know about?

Another story—- last night a retired local elementary music teacher came up to me and said “All I had to do is look at your hands when you played to know you took piano lessons from Marjorie Benzler!”   She was such an excellent teacher, very fussy about hand position, counting, dynamics, theory and musicality.  I went to my piano lesson every Saturday afternoon.  We went to town only once a week to buy groceries, visit Grandma’s house and have the piano lesson.  I walked to Grandma’s house after the lesson and cried all the way, 3 blocks, about 99% of the time.   My lesson was never good enough — never!  Of course by now I have forgiven Miss Benzler and my mom for being so hard on me.  I can see it paid off in the end and I love playing whenever I want but it felt like a long, hard road over 55 years ago.  Ah, memories.  It was 3 years ago today that Mom passed away and I have thought about her many times today – lots of times involved the piano that she was determined I would play!

15 thoughts on “Readers Digest Books

  1. Donna Sproston

    And what a wonderful gift your mother gave you, one to last both your life times.

  2. Joann Hansen

    Mary, I also took piano lessons from Miss Benzler. She was strict but a very good teacher. I have 10 brothers and sisters and all but one took lessons from her. when I first started playing for church I had a lady ask me if I took lessons from Miss Benzler. She said I thought so by the way you hold your hands! Was many years ago. Joann

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Joann from Kanawha? What years did you take lessons? Were you taking lessons the year she had the brain tumor? We should talk!

      1. Joann Hansen

        No, I’m older then you. I remember seeing her after that though . I did not like classical music until our son played it. I didn’t have the discipline for that. Our son loved it. He majored in music in college. He won the Bill Riley talent show at the State Fair one year. He was a great music educator. Yes let’s talk some day. Yes, I’m from Kanawha.

        1. CountryThreads Post author

          I’m never quite sure who I’m talking to – boy, it is a small world!!

  3. Cheryl

    Bless your Mother, and Miss Benzler! Thanks to them you have a beautiful gift that the rest of us wish we had. When our daughter was ten, she “froze” during a recital. She looked out at her teacher, who just stared back at her. It so traumatized her, I gave in to her plea to quit. Now, twenty two years later, she said I should have been mean to her! Cheryl

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      I knew better than to even hint that I wanted to quit piano lessons! And I thought It was mean at the time.

  4. Terry

    Yes, that’s the one. I have the same title, but the cover is different – must just be a different edition. Thanks for checking on it for me. Those are the best books – the arrangements are interesting and pretty, but not too hard. My kids and I think it’s funny that that the one with the hymns, Reader’s Digest Family Songbook of Faith and Joy, also includes “Puff the Magic Dragon”.

  5. Carolyn

    My Mother had this book, seeing all your sheet music reminded me of how she would get her’s out and sort and organize. She was also the church organist for many years. One of my sister’s has her talents. I got the sewing bug, can’t carry a tune in a bucket. Thank you for the memories….

  6. Mary Hawk

    aw, we had these books too. Memories. 3 of us 5 kids took piano. My brother that flunked out of piano lessons is a fantastic classics pianist. He plays a grand and an old organ. As a kid he played by ear and could not learn to read music because he memorized the songs by ear. He was the first person to graduate from U of I school of music, in theory and composition who couldn’t proficiently read music. When he came home from Maine, Mom would always have him play in church and our piano teacher was the organist, was very funny. I have some weird piano lesson stories too!

  7. Ann Barlament

    My mom always yelled….that doesn’t sound right, try it again. One time while practicing I suggested that she show me how! Years later she took piano lessons and found it wasn’t as easy as she thought.

    I wish now that I had taken more than a year of lessons as I would love to just sit down and belt out a song.

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