“When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, ‘I used everything you gave me’”
- Erma Bombeck
Christmas is a time of giving, and when people think of the word “gifts,” they usually think of toys, gift cards or presents, but this made me wonder if I could use a talent I’m good at this year.
Maybe accompany someone for a concert, or paint or draw a picture as a gift or, if you’re good at sports (I am most definitely not) teach someone how to play a new sport.
Then I received an email from Miss. Conaboy to accompany her students at a concert.
I was thrilled to share my talent and it’s the perfect time of year to give of yourself.
I have learned to play piano, harp, and sing, each instrument from a different teacher.
I, having learned how to play these instruments, have had the opportunity to play for events using each one.
I must admit though, playing harp is a pretty fun thing to do, and I give all the credit to my amazing harp teacher, Miss Paulette Gallo.
I love playing harp- all because of Miss Gallo. She is an amazing harpist and teacher with an outstanding gift to give the world.
“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything.” -Plato
A harp is an instrument that can date back to Ancient Egyptian times. It is a very temperature sensitive instrument.
A change in temperature can lead to either strings popping or tune altering. There are many ( and I mean many) types of harps all over the world from lyre, to orchestral, to lever, pedal, celtic, so on and so forth.
And the best fact is... it is soo fun to play. Albeit hard...but very fun and rewarding.
I play the lever harp. It has 34 strings, 34 levers,and is almost 5 feet tall . It was a gift I received from my parents on the feast of Saint Nicholas when I was 10 years old. It’s my most prized possession.
“All grown-ups were once children… but only few of them remember it.” -Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince
One of Ms. Gallo’s favorite childhood memories was during Christmas time, in fact. She states that her mother would make a pastry called, bûche de Noël.
She says that they are very good, and now I want to try it! She says, “The lights on the trees were always nice!” She has very fond memories with her family at Christmas.
I also love the lights on trees! Ms.Gallo has multi-colored lights on her tree, and it looks so nice!
Ms. Gallo first learned piano from her mother when she was very little here and there.
She continued to learn piano from a series of nuns in a convent across the street from her house when she was about seven years old!
When Ms. Gallo was a freshman in high school, she continued to learn piano when she had a substitute teacher, Sister Clare, who opened her up to learning the harp.
So, I guess, I have Sister Clare to thank for me learning the harp too! If it wasn’t for her encouragement Ms. Gallo might have never became my harp teacher. After studying with Sister Clare, Ms. Gallo studied with Susann McDonald.
Ms. Gallo not only enjoys playing the harp but also enjoys watching ballets, visiting museums, playing piano and organ at her church (she plays organ, too!), and currently teaching at Marywood University.
She loves Paris, Belgium, New York City, and the beaches of New Jersey all for their beauty, art/music culture,and their delicious food choices.
“I don’t think most teachers realize how much impact they have” -Scott Hamilton
Ms. Gallo is someone who has taught me more than how to acclimate my harp to a new place so my strings don’t pop, how playing the harp requires extreme dedication and patience and about beautiful composers.
She is a perfect compliment to my personality. We share so much. We share a love of music, art, our mothers and a deep love of our faith. She is someone I look forward to seeing every Thursday, learning from and making proud.
I find myself waiting to tell her things from my week. She’s a gift to me, not just because she is my harp teacher but because I look up to her.
My harp teacher is one of the best people you’ll ever meet! She is kind and helpful and… well… a good teacher!
She has shared her gift of kindness and music with the world in so many ways and has left a great impact on me. Merry Christmas Ms. Gallo!
And who knows, maybe one day I’ll share something I’m good at with the world just like her.