One of the rare privileges for me working at Andalusia is meeting some of the people who knew Flannery O'Connor personally. These occasions are as infrequent as they are memorable. Such a meeting occurred this past Monday when one of Flannery's former piano teachers visited the farm. This enthusiastic nun was such a delight. She shared many interesting stories and anecdotes about her famed pupil who went on to achieve much greater success on typewriter keys than piano keys. Flannery, who once referred to herself as "the original tin ear," took music lessons at the parochial school of Sacred Heart Catholic Church (operated briefly by the Sisters of St. Joseph in the early 1950s). According to the good sister, Flannery was a diligent student who practiced hard to get all the notes right, though this sometimes resulted in wooden, mechanical playing. While Flannery may not have been the most proficient pianist going down the street (she once quipped, "St. Cecilia wouldn't know what to do with me."), the fond memories her former teacher has of Flannery are indelibly etched on her mind. By the way, if you are interested in seeing the piano that Flannery practiced on, come out to Andalusia and see it on display in our gift shop.
P.S. All quotes are taken from A Literary Guide to Flannery O'Connor's Georgia - p. 52