Mr. Takahashi, Mrs. Ishii, and the warmest toilet seat this side of the Mississippi!

I got swindled into taking a lesson today! I thought we were just going to be talking about a schedule and our backgrounds - which we did for quite a long time. Mr. Takahashi spoke about how he met and began studying with Marcel Moyse, and all the other people he had taken lessons with (including my great great grand-teacher, William Kincaid). We talked about what kind of flutes we had and expressive intonation (of course). (Expressive intonation takes the 12 equal tones of the piano and tweaks them back into what they were originally meant to be, especially the half steps) He also showed me some sheets of warm-ups that he wanted me to work on and the next thing I knew I was in the middle of my first lesson with Mr. T! (Of course, by the time I realized it, I couldn't start the ipod recorder.)

Despite the three straight days of travel and a lack of practice beforehand, he got me sounding really good by the end of the lesson. Of course, he pointed out a lot of weaknesses in my playing too, which I guess is to be expected. It's really humbling to become the student again and have to deal with the frustration of not being able to do what your teacher wants you to. Huh, Karma.

Afterwards I was taken to my home-stay, Mrs. Ishii. She's very nice, although she speaks English only mildly better than I speak Japanese. Almost immediately she had me write my name down in her address book afer which she sounded out the English (well, mostly English) characters and wrote their Japanese equivalents above. I'm the 162nd person to stay with her through the Suzuki school here and the book had a real sense of history - people from New Zealand, Austraia, Finland, Italy, and lastly the U.S.

Mrs. Ishii is also an excellent cook - but when I finally got up the nerve to say "Sumimasen, toyre wa doko des ka?" I found the king of all toilets! It opens the lid for you and has a, er, seat warmer, which I have to admit is a nice feature.