Friday, April 10, 2009

Perfect Pitch

Yesterday was piano lesson day. I sat on the sofa in the adjoining room listening in as my son showed his stuff.

After playing a few notes, he turned to his teacher. "Did you get your piano tuned?" he asked.

Surprised, she said, "Yes, I did! How did you know?"

"It sounded different. I could just tell."

This might not have been a surprising dialogue, if the piano student had been taking lessons for quite some time. Or if he was old. Or accustomed to that particular piano. Or if it was wickedly out of tune.

It was surprising because it was my son's third lesson. Ever. He'd only played that piano twice before. And did I mention? He's eight.

What makes him able to hear the difference when a sound is a little too sharp and when it's just perfect? I can guarantee you that it's not genetics. Does he have perfect pitch? I don't know. I guess time will tell.

As I sit here revising and revising for my next packet (due the 16th), I'm wishing I could tell the difference between a scene that is a little too sharp and one that's just perfect. Unfortunately, my eyes are too used to seeing these particular words on the screen. The words blur together and I can't tell if they dance with the beauty of marbled colors or they squat with the reality of mud. Rainbow or mud pie? I'll let you know.


  1. Easiest way to tell pefect pitch: pick a song he has sung for a few years and always in the same key. Ask him to sing it for you and check the pitch on the piano with the original song key.

    I wouldn't be surprised if he did have perfect pitch.