Writings About Music
First Music Teacher
Letter from Michael Robinson to his first music teacher, Ben DiDia, Camp Avenue Elementary School, North Merrick, NY
June 29, 1967
Dear Mr. DiDia,
I have been one of your many musical students for 2 years. During those 2 years I have worked with the most talented, understanding and funny music teacher I ever had or will have. You taught me all I know about my instrument and made it easy to learn.
I regret moving mainly because I will miss you as a great teacher and friend.
Your friend forever,
* * * * * * * * * * *
I still remember clearly the day Ben DiDia came into my third grade class to give us a music aptitude test, which would determine if we were qualifiied to be in the band. I was one of the students fortunate enough to be selected, and I next recall our first meeting with Mr. DiDia in the band room where he examined my hands and decided that I would do well with the trumpet because they were large.
DiDia, who I later learned was a fine clarinetest, gave me an excellent introduction to the art of music because he was highly enthusiastic, disciplined, and had a good sense of humor too, though I cannot recall any specific jokes he told.
Fortunately, the band teachers I had after moving to Wantagh, NY were also excellent. They were Richard Baffa in Junier High, and Rollan Masciarelli in High School. I remained oblivous to the fact that they were all Italian-American until well into my college years.
Details about my early musical life are discussed in an Autobiography originally published by electronicmusic.com in 1997.
- Michael Robinson, August 2011, Los Angeles
© 2011 Michael Robinson All rights reserved
Michael Robinson is a Los Angeles-based composer and writer (musicologist).