In the late seventeen hundreds and early eighteen hundreds, I was Beethovens prized pupil, if you can believe it. Unfortunately I had to quit him for reasons not concerning music. It was really quite silly. I was supposed to be protecting my good name. You see, it was rumored that the maestro, Beethoven, was a womanizer and while conducting orchestras he also conducted many affairs with his young female students. In those times, although mostly behind their backs, some men and even some women were referred to as libertines. Of course any man as emotional as Beethoven had to be romantically exotic, but I didnt consider him a libertine; it was just that young women threw themselves at him and he used the opportunities. The saddest part was this remarkable man was almost deaf; in later years, he became almost completely and totally deaf. Yet this man was such a genius, just by reading the written notes, he could hear the music inside his head. Often, he laid his hands on the piano as I played. At times, when I playedparticularly when we were alone, after hed closed the piano, thus containing the soundhed then lay his head down on the piano; by doing so, with his temple held tightly on the lid, it enabled him to hear it fully the way it was meant to be heard. This was done only prudently and only witnessed by certain people as he was embarrassed and, at first, not wanting to admit being deaf. No matter how much relief Id get by forgetting the music, I never would forget it on purpose. That music is a part of me, more so than my arms and limbs even; the music is more part of me than my perceived beauty or my immortality.