Musical Childhood Stories
This 1st photo was taken when I was 5 or 6 in a town square where they used to have children's singing competitions. I remember the first time I sang there and I won 1st prize. There were two prizes to choose from, a beautiful encyclopedia and a little tambourine and of course I took the tambourine. Oh, my mother was so mad at me! She was mad at me for a whole month. I kept entering the competition and winning, but after the fourth time they would not let me compete anymore. Instead they let me do an extra number, sort of like I was their "Hall of Fame". I was not competing against anyone, but each time they still let me choose a prize. I remember when I was choosing I would look over at my mother to be sure to take the prize she liked. One time I got a huge book that I never thought I would read, but I did and it was great! It was Mark Twain's "Tom Sawyer" and I loved it! It was so descriptive, it was like a movie. After doing these performances for a while they gave me my own radio program every Sunday. It was amazing! There was no television back then so everyone was listening to the radio, and I was the "Star".
This next photo was taken at the Music Academy of Ponta Grossa. Here I am receiving a prize for the "Best Musical Piece" performed that year. The way I got to enroll at the Academy was because I used to sing for a man named Joseph Hofman at his political rallies when he was running for Mayor. After he won the election he came to our house and told my parents that if I wanted I could enroll at the Academy and he would give me a full scholarship. It was a miracle! We had no money to pay for something like that. We lived on the outskirts of town with no electricity, just kerosene lamps and a fire burning stove. I can't say I was the best student, my mother would have to drag me to school and push me inside the door. Then I would just stand on the other side quietly, hoping that nobody would see me, so I could sneak back out. If I could, I would run back outside and get on my bike and go swimming. I remember that I memorized music from hearing it, rather than learning to read. I would look at the music paper as if I was reading, but I never was. One day my piano teacher did not change the page when she asked me to play another tune and I was caught in the act. I played the whole tune looking at the wrong music. I studied 2 years of piano and acoustic guitar, but my real love was percussion. It was always percussion.