Years: Summer 2009 (1st year)
Shelby Stokes has taught Upper School English at the Fieldston School since 2000.
Not the gleaming Steinway we could never afford, its stringed interior exposed and vulnerable, but the upright Baby Grandrestraining its music from wandering out into the Bronx streets. Here, my father trained my ear to cultivate arpeggios, to distill octaves into single notes, to mark time. He told me what to imitate, what to listen for. While I ran diligent scales, my nimble fingers growing mobile, young girls touched their growing bellies by the basketball courts. Here, young boys have ears refined only for the pingof balls on concrete,for long, voweled street slang sonatas. All of them deaf to the sound of their own falling. They pressed their palms against basketballs, against bellies, all exposed and vulnerable.