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Humanizing the Education Machine by Brian Cahill, Bill Latham, Rex Miller

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Chapter 13How Technology Is Supposed to Work

. . . technology keeps moving forward, which makes it easier for the artists to tell their stories. . . .

—George Lucas

Our family drove to the Grapevine Theater in order to support Emily and Daniel as they gave their final piano recital pieces. But, for them, it was more closure than celebration. They were both just worn out by the tedium of lessons and practice.

Our youngest, Caleb, sat quietly with us in the auditorium as we all listened to the student performances. When the recital ended, the parents hugged and congratulated their kids and then filed out of the theater. But that recital changed Caleb's life. That was our first indicator that he was an artist; he was reaching for the tools necessary for telling his story.

One of the performers at the recital played Solfeggietto in C Major. It is one of C.P.E. Bach's best-recognized pieces: few chords, almost exclusively single notes played rapidly to an ancient and (what some consider) mystical progression of tones. When we got home that night, Caleb (who had been learning piano from Lisa) bounded upstairs to his keyboard. He found the Solfeggio on YouTube. After a few days he was playing the piece accurately from memory. That's when Lisa called: “I think we need to find a piano teacher for Caleb.”

“Really? He just started; how much are lessons?”

“Four hundred dollars a month.”

“Why don't we wait a few more months to see if he's really serious?”

“You need to listen to this.” Then ...

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