Read the Story and Listen to "Elisabeth's Waltz" by Daniel Carter
My Daughter, the Dancer
From a very early age, my daughter, Elisabeth, loved to dance, and was enrolled in several lessons and classes throughout her early life. When she had her fifth birthday, I presented her with a gift of Five Dances for a Five-Year Old Girl.
I came home from work that day and after dinner I told her I had a gift for her and I played the first piece in the work called, Elisabeth's Waltz. She danced around the room and when it was finished she said, "Play it again!" So I did, and she grabbed her little brother, Michael, only two years old at the time, and they danced and tumbled around the room, laughing and giggling. The whole scene probably lasted less than 10 minutes, but it has been one of the great joys of my life. That memory has sustained me through a lot of life's ups and downs.
Music Video of Elisabeth's Waltz
This video was created by Liz's friend, Brittney. Brittney is a wonderfully talented person. A fine photographer. This video is a Christmas gift from both of us to Liz.
The best things that ever happened in my life are my two kids. They are wonderful, smart, talented, honorable people.
When my kids were going through their adolescent years, I required them to take piano lessons for two years. That didn't really happen the way I imagined it, but they did take lessons for a little less than a year. They would say, "Dad, music is your thing, not ours." But to this day, Michael can walk up to any piano and play Pop Goes the Weasel exactly the way he did when he was five years old, so that year of lessons really did pay off. That, and the fact that as he and Liz continued into high school, Michael, the sports obsessed son, picked up a guitar and never put it down. Liz was also active in sports as well as dance, but she played piano and wrote her own songs. She has won several awards for her original compositions from early in her life. I even notated a couple of them for her, and she claims she has no memory of some of them whatever. I'm just glad I took the time to notate the ones I did.
Michael called me in those teen years to ask me technical music questions.
"Dad, what chord is this? It's totally awesome!" and he would play the chord, then each note, and I would tell him what it was. One time it was a more complex chord, like an E major seventh with a flat nine and no third.
"Whaaa…..how do you know this stuff?!" he asked, puzzled.
"Because I paid a lot of money to learn it in college, that's why!" I said laughing.
Liz is now married to Brandon. Michael is married to Tiffany. Both still love music and they both continue to write music. Every once in a while I see Liz dancing around the room. It always makes me smile, and takes me back to that moment on her fifth birthday. She is a beautiful dancer. Liz also has a blog and is very active about it. She's an interesting and witty writer.
Merry Christmas, Elisabeth. I love you.
More by this Author
Music video of beloved Christmas song by Daniel Carter and Sherri Otteson Bird. Story of how the song came to be. Sheet music available. Links included.
Piano solo by Daniel Carter with music video How to create wonderful memories of home. Links for ordering sheet music.
Diagrams and easy to follow text that will help musicians learn to read music whether as a singer or instrumentalist.