The Tucson Family of Piano I was from a family of musicians, pianists, Ozan Marsh and Patricia Benkman. I was their son to the magnificent experience of pianistic and musical performance. They were top caliber pianists from a very wonderful line of historical figures in the music world. Sometimes it was overwhelming, even at an early age to be constantly surrounded by piano 24/7 and listen hear and know the repertoire of each individual young pianist who studied with my parents. It was a non-stop environment. Beethoven, Schubert, Bach, Liszt, Rachmaninoff, Busoni and every composer one could deem to imagine. The young pianists would come in to the studio and get a wonderful lesson by my parents which would go "all out" for their students on many levels, and then watch all the shenanigans happen on the sidelines. There I was, right there, to see what my parents talked about, what they truly believed and sometimes how their students treated them in the final analysis. Both my parents took all their students under their wings. All the students all of the time. Each one was selected, being the best of the best for their particular skill. All were different. Each played a certain way. Some had unique talents that were specific...but when it came to piano lessons...there were no better teachers available. As a student myself my father would make blood out of a stone. When I was young I took lessons from a Ms Teska who went through all the young students works...I did well. I had a natural ear. That was a real problem. I would often play simply by ear, or race through something in a hap-hazard way. When I was very young...about 8 years old, my parents were in the far room and I had an interest in picking up a piece of music...it was Beethoven's Pathetique Sonata (I have a recording of me playing it in 1968, my father beating time in the background. I picked it up and played it...somewhat to my parents coming running into the studio-room (our living room) their eyes ablaze and a long lecture on Beethoven would start. I had been studying only several months, but I wanted to play the big material, and like a child I wanted it now even if I wasnt ready for it...or was I...then? Well it was a series of wrong rhythms and many notes...but I recount that incident well. I always, especially as a child had somewhat of a musical ear that would just appropriate music. At a young age my parents use to tease some of the people with this ability to some apt musicians and conductors who would come to the house...and say: "Richard..can you play the Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto?" , now how about the "Liszt E Flat"...Ok the Busoni Concerto....and I would just launch right in. If I could hear it I could play it...as though the music was somehow right in my ear. As I grew older I did become less automatic and more analytical especially with the piano lessons. My father was a technique master and so there were many exercises that I would practice ad infinitum only to lack a fluid impressive repertoire and many of the big warhorses which were technique eaters and and power thirsty. All in all it was my own choice if I wanted to play the piano or not. My parents did not persuade me nor dissuade me. It was all on my own account. But if I did take lessons...it was a Magna Lesson...sometimes that would go on to 1 or 2 am in the morning. Some of those students thought it was rough. I was always worried if I missed my lesson, or came up with an excuse...for wrong notes, or misinterpreted rhythms. If I went into the studio with junk, I had it polished out of me before I left..one tick with the metronome by one tick. And of course for an audience...I had my parents. And with encouragement in hand if I needed this as well as criticism. Moreover I came out with the gift of music, one gift that could never be bought or sold since it is the essence of the artists ear to the pianist what the sight is to the painter. I was extremely grateful for all the lessons from both my parents. Yes both my parents were die-hard perfectionists in their craft, and impeccable masters of putting a wonderful product into the arena of music. I will always miss the Saturday or Sunday meetings of my parents and their students at our house. Today those students are on their own...some are famous...some of them became teachers themselves.