At seventeen, Lewis is a folk musician who enjoys pieces from a variety of cultures and traditions. Certain pieces seem to call forth his best, and when he plays “The Yellow Rose of Texas,” you have to tap your toe, clap your hands, and nearly whistle and stomp your feet. In his cello playing, that unrestrained energy of more than thirteen years ago is still as vibrant as ever.
I’m so glad I didn’t squash his talent and drive for self-expression. What would he have gained if I’d insisted on perfect fidelity to the printed page?
As it was, he did grow up knowing how to read music, but because I was flexible enough to see that I shouldn’t correct him in the midst of one of his early outbursts of self-expression, the best of his ability has been nurtured.