Beloved Lake George teacher turning 96 still sings and plays piano every day

August 16, 2019 05:59 PM

BOLTON LANDING - The Pratt house has always been the "music house."

Barbara Pratt and her husband, John (a World War II fighter pilot), and their two boys, were all music lovers and music makers.

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Barb brought her love for music into her kindergarten classroom at Lake George Elementary School.

Not a music teacher, she asked for a piano for her room so she could keep her students engaged and enthused.

Decades later, former students still rave about her. She was the fun teacher. The one everyone wanted to have.

She laughed that off Friday. "Somebody else could teach them just as well as I did, but a different way. It's however you get to the kids, see."

Her sons Andy, and Stanley ("Cobber"), often hear from their mom's former students who tell them about the impact she had on them.

"That's how you know you made a difference when it sticks in somebody's memory," said Andy. "Where other people can't remember who they had for a kindergarten teacher."

Barb turns 96 Sunday. She still lives in the family house and still makes music. Every day.

"Oh yeah, I play every day. I go from that piano to this one. I wouldn't miss it. That one in there, kind of a little risqué songs in there, but I don't do that when somebody's here and then I come out here and then I play nicely."

Barb was wondering if she'd get any birthday cards this year. After all, most of her contemporaries have passed. However, when you touch lives, people tend not to forget.

She's received about a hundred cards so far, at least one for every year Barb Pratt has been sharing her love for music and her love for life.

Barb says the secret to her health and positivity is no secret at all, laughing as she says, "Just keep singing."


Mark Mulholland

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