New Students

Over the last 15 months or so quite a few new students have come into the studio, and because I have a strict mask policy I have yet to see their faces. I know their eyes, and I know their voice, and their favorite outfits and their favorite masks; I am sure I would recognize them if I ran into them in a store.

The other day, someone other than a parent dropped off one of the younger students and said she wouldn’t come inside because she forgot her mask. I offered her a mask which she gratefully accepted, and that’s when I realized that it was, in fact, the mother of the student. I had never seen her face, and I was stunned at how very different she looked without a mask.

Yesterday, I asked the mother of another young student if it would be ok for me to take a picture of her daughter at the piano, and if it would be ok for her to pull her mask down for the two seconds it took to take the picture. She said, Sure, Of course, and – again, there was suddenly a completely new person at the piano, it was mind-boggling.

So, now I have started to take pictures of my newer students whose faces I had never seen, at the piano, mask pulled down for a second or two, to reveal the entire face.

I was surprised at how giddily excited I have become, seeing the whole face for the first time ever – it’s like discovering a new person! I had known their eyes, their voices but this is like a new dimension.

We say that you can see the soul of a person in their eyes and I am sure that is true, and eyes can be very expressive, but boy, there’s something about the rest of the face that the eyes don’t even hint at.

Makes me smile, just thinking about the other students whom I get to discover over the next couple lessons! I find myself wondering now, actively guessing what their faces look like behind their masks. (Mark asked if these new students have ever seen *me* without a mask, and – no, of course they haven’t, but most of them have seen a picture of me, without mask.) I think I’ll print the pictures of students’ faces just so I can look at them – and hope that someday, before too long, we will not need masks all the time anymore, and I get to see their entire beautiful faces for real, not just in a picture.