Monday, March 16, 2015
Ever since we bought our first house back in 2010, I've wanted to get a piano. As a kid, I took lessons for eight years starting when I was eight years old and had a definite love/hate relationship with the instrument. I loved playing, but, like all kids, I hated to practice. But at my mom's encouragement (and insistence!) I kept at it and got to the point where I could play some more challenging music. I was never very good at sight reading, and I was (and still am) really uncomfortable playing in front of anyone other than my family, but I really enjoyed most of the music my teacher gave me to play and had fun with it. Then I got really into sports and let the lessons go in favor of longer hours on the softball field. But the foundation I received as far as reading and understanding music proved extremely useful as I decided to give more and more instruments a try.
I played the clarinet from 4th grade all the way through high school but also tried my hand at the french horn, the trombone, the tenor saxophone, the trumpet, and the drums. My inability to focus on any one instrument turned me into a musician that played the clarinet pretty well, the sax ok (just during my senior year when I joined a sax quartet before I even knew how to play one...and then had a difficult solo in a rendition of The Pink Panther that I had to play in front of lots of people more than once. Not my best decision but I made it through!) and just a C scale on everything else. And since my left hand isn't very coordinated, I never did well with the drums. I think it was the thrill of learning something new that kept me instrument hopping, but regardless, I never could have learned even the basics of other instruments as quickly as I did without my start on the piano. (So what I'm really saying is, thanks for making me stick with it Mom and Dad!) :)
Several months ago when we were at our neighbor's house, we heard them asking a music teacher friend of ours if she needed a piano at her school. They had a baby grand all wrapped up from their move almost a year ago and had nobody in the house to play it anymore and were looking to donate it to a good cause. At that point, I leaned over to Will and said to him, "If they don't find a place to donate it, maybe we should buy it!" I never thought we would even talk about it again and knew that really, it was out of the question at the moment as it would take us a few years to save up for a piano anyway.
Just a couple weeks ago, as Will and I were leaving our neighbor's house after dinner, they followed us outside and said the most amazing thing: "We've been thinking a lot about it, and we want you guys to have the piano."
I think both of our jaws hit the floor before we rushed to say that that would be wonderful and we'd love to talk about it and of course we'll pay for it! But they insisted on giving it to us, saying that they had overheard my comment to Will that night all those months ago and knew we would give it a good home. And so, after many many thanks and hugs, we arranged to have it moved to our house. That happened on Monday evening of last week, we had it tuned the following day, and I picked up some beginner books for Tommy and a couple pieces of music for me the day after that. We've been spending time playing it every day since, and I have a feeling that not a day will go by without someone sitting down to play. It's a beautiful instrument and one that we will cherish for many years to come.
The last time I had full-time access to a piano was when I was 18 years old (almost 15 years ago!), and I am loving every second of sitting down to play these days. Without the pressure of having to practice in order to perform at church or at a recital, it's so relaxing to play through a piece of music I played all those years ago. I'm so incredibly thankful for this amazingly beautiful gift and can't wait to give our children the same great musical start that I received as a child.
Wishing you a lovely week, my friends!