I have learned this at least by my experiment: that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.

-Henry David Thoreau

Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata resonated throughout the dim room. The pianist shut his eyes, immersed in the music while his nimble fingers raced across the grand piano. A tattered and torn manuscript lay unnoticed on the bench beside him. He was a maestro, a master. All melodies had been locked in his brilliant memory.

"Papa! Papa!" the 3 year-old child tugged his father's sleeve insistently, demanding his immediate attention. "I want to play too!" His father explained patiently without glancing at him, "No, Tom. You're too young." He tried to shut the toddler's dismal wails out, but to no avail. Nevertheless, he continued playing as if in a world of his own. Soon, the child's mother rushed into the room and dealt him a resounding smack. The child was stunned; his mouth gaped open, staring at this foreign person before him with large, bewildered eyes.

"Don't stare at me like that!" the exasperated mother yelled, "How many times have I told you not to whine! Making such a racket! You come along with me right now!" She snatched his little hand and dragged him out of the room. His furious screams bounced off the walls of the corridor, reaching the ears of his father, who winced.

After a long day of practice, the father finally closed the piano and patted it fondly before retiring to bed. He dreamt he was performing at Carnegie Hall, with uncountable pairs of eyes upon him. Each song he played would be greeted by a large burst of applause. As he swept swiftly to the centre of the concert platform to receive his bouquet of flowers, his cheeks would flush with pride.

Suddenly, he was rudely awakened from this wondrous dream by the jarring, random striking of the ivory and ebony keys. That boy! He smiled wryly as he went to investigate further.

He tiptoed down the corridor and peered into the room. The soft, glowing light streaming from the lamp perched on the upright piano spread its comforting rays around the room. Meanwhile, Tom was happily tinkering on the piano, using only one chubby finger to prod the keys. The father walked up, leaning against the piano. He looked at the boy's radiant face and asked him gently, "Do you really want to learn?" The child's head bobbed up and down eagerly and the father beamed. "Well, then what are we waiting for?"

The boy was a quick learner and was able to pick up almost everything after a few demonstrations by his father. It was touching to see a young child displaying such kind of determination to master the art of piano playing in such a short period of time. Caught up in this new interest, the father completely forgot the time and continued his teachings enthusiastically.

Later that night, the mother stirred from her sleep to find her husband's place empty. She got up and went to the piano room, where the lamp was still burning steadily. She paused at the doorway and chuckled.

Leaning fast asleep against the piano was her son. Unwilling to wake the slumbering boy, the mother turned off the lamp, whispered 'Sweet dreams', and tiptoed off to the kitchen, where she found her husband sipping tea. "Our son has potential, you just wait."