Friday, 10 April 2015

Tickling the Ivories

When I was about 5 years old, I joined the rest of my family (except mom) in taking piano lessons and practicing daily. Being the youngest, I was itchin' to start of course, to be like my big sisters. I don't know how long it took, but probably about a half-year in I was not enjoying myself. But in my day, it was forced upon us. Thou shalt play the piano and take lessons until you complete your grade 8 Royal Conservatory of Music exam. And so, I did. 

Over the years since, I've barely played at all because I'm not naturally talented. My dad was. He could play anything anyone requested, if they could sing him the tune to get him started. Or he could play anything he'd ever learned by heart and with flourish. He would segue from one piece to another with his own invented little bits. He was incredible. He used to thrill small children with his rendition of "Teddy Bears' Picnic". It still brings a tear to my eye when I remember it. 

As an adult, I occasionally wished I had a piano to play, but the urge wasn't so strong that I wanted to get one. I had the family piano at one point in time, but passed it on to my sister when she had kids and they were taking lessons. It's still with them now. I can say I had a teensy part in helping my one niece become the incredible musician she is today, in fact. But that's another story. 

Enter Rocketman and the Smidge and the opportunity to have a hand-me-down electric keyboard. Sounded good, it'll be fun. Well the Smidge took to it immediately. I gave her a few short lessons, and truly she ran with it. She's been teaching herself new pieces, sight reading with almost no problem and playing almost daily with little to no encouragement.

So I asked her one day, would you like to play a real piano (sorry folks, when you're brought up with a traditional piano, the electric keyboard just doesn't cut it)? She said she would....emphatically. And so, the Rocketman and I discussed it,  hmmmmed and hawed. Lo and behold, I explored Kijiji one day and there was a piano available in our very own small neighbourhood in our very own small town. It was fate. 

We hesitated still, but when I heard back from the family that they just wanted it to go to a good home, and be used and well cared for.....well we crumbled. 

The kid loves it, and apparently so does the cat. Who knew? 

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