Monday, February 10, 2014

REVIEW: The Story of the Trapp Family Singers

© Christy K Robinson

 In the late 1960s, when I was maybe 9 years old, my mother let me ditch school to attend a lecture by Maria von Trapp. I'm guessing that the author was promoting a newer edition of her book at the time. She struck me as an opinionated, very strong personality, but one who had twinkling eyes and who encouraged me to continue my piano lessons. The baroness autographed my easy-to-play Sound of Music piano book, but sternly made sure that I realized that the movie was not REALLY what her life was about--that it was just Hollywood stuff.

When I grew up and became a music teacher myself in the 80s, I wish I'd remembered this book, because I would have recommended it to every student of mine. In 2003, I found this old copy of The Story of the Trapp Family Singers in an antique shop, but THIS one won't be recycled or resold!

You should avail yourself of the sample on the Amazon page, by clicking the book image. You’ll see the colorful prose, even in the foreword, that attracted the attention of the playwrights and filmmakers.

What comes through on every page is the dedication to a will and purpose higher than any human's will. This was not meant to be a "religious" book, but a history of a family who made a huge difference in the world by their faithful service to God. Being willing to work hard, submit their discomfort or inconvenience to God's will and have Him turn it into great blessings and lessons for the family and indeed the world, are truly building blocks of faith, hope, love, and encouragement.

In addition, the stories of the family's dedication to their profession and the pursuit of excellence are inspiring. To attain such stature and not have one's nose in the clouds is an accomplishment in itself! (Ever meet a music scholar or highly-educated performer? The humble ones are few and far between.)

Maria probably was the Captain of the family, but look what happened to a country peasant girl who was truly noble, not just assigned the title!
My piano book looked just like this (sigh)...

So what became of my autographed Sound of Music piano book? I suspect it was loaned to one of my mother's piano students and never returned. It disappeared sometime in my teenage years.