Friday, February 11, 2005

Condoleezza Rice is a hit in Europe: Was it the piano lessons?


Condi Superstar shares her talent

Who would have dreamed that Condoleeza Rice's first international tour as Secretary of State would help heal the hurt in Europe? She's only been on the job two weeks. How does she do it!

Dr. Rice's message in Paris focused on freedom and economic prosperity. Well, true - we all want to hear this. These are survival messages that Lead Our Leaders knows everyone agrees with. But how was America's top diplomat able to warm the hearts of Europeans who previously were wary of U.S. foreign policy?

The French love her so much that they've given her a new nickname: Condi Superstar.

Gianfranco Fini, Italy's foreign minister, gave Rice high praise this week. He said, "I don’t know if she can be defined as a hawk or a dove, but certainly she is a determined woman."

Dr. Rice displayed determination early in life. She started piano lessons at age three. At age five she played for the choir at the church where her father served as pastor.

Grandmother must have been right. She told me that the study of piano developed a variety of skills necessary for children to excel in life. Susie Temoy McFate taught piano beyond the age of 100 in her home to neighborhood children. At her funeral, former pupils told me how much her time with them meant to their lives.

Grandmother McFate said music lessons yield the 3 C's - concentration, coordination and confidence. Studying for a recital is difficult. I remembering wanting to go outside and play instead. But affording a child an opportunity to experience the pride of accomplishment? - priceless!

I know a teenager who stayed in high school for the opportunity to sing in chorus. She was a talented singer and loved to perform. Another potential dropout rescued - priceless!

Dr. Rice told music students this week in Paris that she’s learning Anton Dvorak’s "Piano Quintet in A Major." Dr. Rice plays piano in a chamber ensemble in Washington on weekends. Paris Mayor Bertrand Delanoe issued her a diplomatic proposal, "Next time, you play for Paris!"

Expect this Secretary of State to travel more than Secretary Powell did. The maestro loves an audience, and they love her.

SolutionGal predicts that Dr. Rice will open up a new chapter in American diplomatic relations that will compel people around the world to address polarization, terror, deficits, wealth inequalities and energy/environment issues.

Thusfar, the new Secretary of State gets a B+. And her potential to serve as a role model for kids around the world - priceless!


Learn about music education.

View Dr. Rice’s speeches from her European tour.

Have you found websites that help us learn more about music and kids?

Please share a personal empowering musical experience from your childhood.

I will never consent to have our sex considered in an inferior point of light. Let each planet shine in their own orbit. Abigail Adams, 3 February 1814