And Then a Piano Dropped into Our Lap

February 16, 2015 - 3:32pm -- swingbug

Our kid started piano lessons a few weeks ago, which were a Christmas gift from his Grandma, and which he is quite enjoying. My husband took lessons as a kid and still plays a little. I'm fairly non-musical myself. 

I learned a little clarinet in an after-school program in third grade, but didn't keep up with it past that. In college, I briefly had the inclination to learn to play the guitar, which didn't work out all that well. Looking back on it, I can see why. I tried group lessons with two dozen other students in them, which I don't expect are very effective for most people, and then I tried a tutor, another undergraduate who turned out to be a very nice classically-trained guitarist who had no idea what to do with a student who couldn't read music and didn't have the natural ear to be able to tune a guitar without digital aids. Also, he didn't know any songs by The Beatles, so obviously that wasn't going to work out.

My point in all of this is that I don't really speak music (except with my feet, I suppose) and it's something I've always regretted a bit. So the fact that Luke wants to learn an instrument, and that our wider family is will to help out with that interest, I think is pretty awesome. We found a nice teacher, who is both patient and good with beginners, and several friends and neighbors offered up their pianos for the occasional practice session. With that, and an electric keyboard, we were getting by alright.

And then two weeks into lessons a serendipitous event occurred wherein a friend at the office mentioned that his family was getting a new piano and needed to find a home for the old one. "Hmmm," I thought. I went home and mentioned it to my husband. "Hmmm," he said. We looked around us. Our home is not particularly large. We have one communal room that serves as entryway, living room, and office. It houses all our books, all our media consummation efforts, all the homework doing, 95% of the knitting, and all the loafing. I believe it's meant to be a dining room too, but we crammed the table in the kitchen instead so there would be more room for the books. 

There is only one spot where an piano could possibly fit. We googled standard upright piano dimensions, paced it off, and pondered whether the fire marshall would be okay with this. In the end we decided that if the universe conspires to give you a piano, you shouldn't say no. So I thanked the friend, who also helped us move the considerably large and heavy instrument (the clarinet was more portable, if I rightly recall), rented a trailer, and now we have a piano in our living room.

I like it.

We all like it. With the possible exception of the cat, who recognizes that there were several small dogs in the home this piano came from and seems to be expecting them to leap out from its innards at any given moment. I presume as time goes on, he'll get over it.

Not long after the piano arrived, Luke announced that I, too, would be having piano lessons. My lessons were to be on Sundays at 1:00pm, and he would teach me, using the lesson he learned the week before. "And Mommy, you have to practice everyday. And I'll know if you don't."

So now I find myself learning the piano, from a teacher who is both patient and good with beginners. I can find the C key now, and play a three-note song about kittens. My teacher tells me I'm doing very well.

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