A long time ago, in a state far, far away...
A little boy named Michael sat at his mother’s piano and picked out the delightful little March from The Nutcracker ballet. A week later his mother gifted him with piano lessons so he’d learn to play something else.
A couple of years later, Michael was in second grade. He read a lot and got good grades, but wasn’t the social wizard he would like to have been. He was, in a word, nerdy. He was also playing the piano. A lot. This was 1977, the year Star Wars came out. Michael decided he wanted to learn the whole score. None of the music was in print, so he worked it out the hard way, just like he’d done with the Nutcracker March.
Mom was tolerant
There was a school talent show that year. Michael was “volunteered” (by Mom) to participate, so he figured there was only one thing he could play that wouldn’t add to his nerdy image. He got up in front of his entire second grade class and banged out a bunch of Star Wars music.
Wouldn’t you know it? Michael was Cool For A Day.
Several years later, Michael was still taking piano lessons, and helping out with his High School theater program (wall-to-wall nerds - he was in Heaven). The director also ran a statewide Children’s Theater program. As soon as Michael saw that, he was hooked. He worked with hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of children over twelve happy years. Along the way he earned a degree in music composition, performed in far-away lands, and began teaching piano himself.
Mr. Michael eventually founded Greenwich Arts Academy as a way to bring all his varied passions under one umbrella (he had also been a magician, and a playwright, and a singer, and a choir director), and to wrap them all up in one big, beautiful present to give to the students he loves so much.
Of course, he’ll still play all that Star Wars music at the drop of a hat if you ask him to. Seriously. Ask him.