A wonderful and unexpected email from my dad a couple of months ago led to a living room reorganization and impending lessons for me and the girls on the piano. Meet Everett.
I got it from Keys 4 Kids, an organization that fixes up old pianos and resells them (and sometimes gives them away), much like some of my favorite bike organizations. A wide range of pianos to choose from, and very helpful folks too. It’s a studio piano from 1961, so it’s built like a tank, and it’s in pretty good shape aside from the pre-graffitti’d bench.
I never had piano lessons as a kid. My dad’s family enjoyed listening to music, but i don’t know that anyone there plays an instrument. Mostly i remember my dad saying, “i’ll listen to any kind of music as long as it’s not too loud!”. On the other hand, my mom’s family was very musical; she and her siblings all had piano lessons, and their dad was a high school music teacher. That grandfather of mine played in jazz bands in the ’30s and after retiring from teaching continued to play horn with the Shriners until he was unable to march. I wish i’d been smart enough to talk to him more about music while he was alive. I played sousaphone in 6th grade then trumpet in 7-8th before quitting. In college i learned the rock instruments and played in bands for a few years, mostly bass guitar, but never returned to reading music, everything was by ear.
So when my dad offered to pay for lessons for the girls, it was a wonderful and unexpected surprise. Piano wasn’t their first choice (it was voice and violin), but i offered that if they can stick to piano lessons for a while they can choose to switch to something else later. I started getting interested in playing too – i’ve been noodling on guitar for a while, but it’s hard to stick with it and progress much when i don’t play with others. I really have too many hobbies for my own good. Piano may well also suffer from that fate, but i’m excited to give it a try.
I generally don’t make a big deal of the new year as it comes along, but this year’s changeover is a little special. The piano, for one, and its requisite house reorganization is a good boost to the overall ongoing reorganizing and decluttering project. Also, I’m starting a new job right after the first of the year, after 11 years with the same company (and getting fed up with their precipitous decline). So for the new year, i’m instigating/embracing change and trying new things.