Waiting to Sing

Book Cover, Waiting to Sing

The love of music connects a family, even one separated by a death.

“My family’s story was played on the piano,” the boy says. His father, a songwriter at heart, played “all the time,” his wife standing at his side, the two of them singing. Eventually, son and father played, the boy’s hands on the father’s so they “traveled the path of the keyboard together.” Painstakingly, the boy learned Beethoven’s “Fur Elise.” Always, even when she was not feeling well, his mother listened, appraised his playing. And then she died. This tender story, an ode to family as much as music, captures in mourning, the piano, like all members of the family, waits to “sing” “Fur Elise” again, and finally the boy, a little older now, hears from down the apartment hall the familiar E and D sharp, “like two friends calling out to one another.” His father’s hands have lifted. At the end of the story there is a note about “Fur Elise” and the meaning of absence and connection the famous piece had for the composer.

© 2000 Howard Kaplan
Audience: Children
Contributors: Blondon, Hervé, ill.
ISBN: 9780789426154
Language: Eng