Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Perfect Pianist

Many many years ago, on our 2nd wedding anniversary, Donny gave me a piano. Madilyn was just a tiny little baby (and the cutest sweetest little thing you could ever imagine). As a child, I had taken six years of lessons, but over the teenage years, gave up the desire to be talented (except to perfect the talent of flirting with boys) and I hadn't touched a keyboard in years. Motherhood had once again prompted a desire to explore any god-given talents I might have, so I had mentioned to Donny that I would love to have a piano in the house to try and relearn how to play.

That was back in the day when he listened to me, and loved to surprise me with gifts. Not so much now. He still listens, occasionally, but he won't buy me anything without my prior approval.

Over the next couple of years, I toyed around with my piano, but when we bought our first house in Memphis, there simply was not room in the house for it. 1400 square feet can only go so far with a family of four, and eventually five.

So, my piano sat nestled in the corner of the garage for years. We thought about selling it many times. But I just couldn't bring myself to let it go.

Then we moved here, and it has had a permanent residence in the basement since, untouched, collecting dust, wasting space. Kind of sad, more like wasting the piano, not the space.

So now Madilyn has expressed an interest in playing. She is a music lover and so who am I to deny her the opportunity to develop a talent.

Many discussions were had on how to rearrange the house most effectively and efficiently to fit it on the main floor, out of the basement. After some rearranging, we had a place for it.

Then came the fun - getting it from the basement to the upstairs. Ever moved a piano? Then you know what I am talking about. I won't go into any details, but Martha tried to help, and the old lady just about got stuck in the mud, but she finally pulled and tugged her way up the back hill and delivered my piano right up to the front door. And after this night, I think Donny cursed the day he ever cared enough about me to buy the piano to begin with.

So now it sits in the front dining room, and it compliments the room quite well.

And Madilyn, well, she is a natural. Who knew she was actually learning stuff in music class at school? She already knew the names of the notes on the staff, how to count time. All I had to teach her to get started was the names of the keys on the piano. She has been playing every day this week, and I have to make her get off of it once I have taken all the noise I can handle for one day. I'm really proud of her and am looking forward to watching her learn to play and listening to the beautiful music she is going to make.

Yes, I failed to mention that she is playing from her recorder book. Kind of funny, right? But hey, notes are on the same place on a graph for the piano as the recorder, so it's all good! At least until I can get her a beginner book to teach her from. Lessons will start soon. I thought I would teach her at first, but she knows a lot more than I thought she did, so she will be ready for lessons a lot sooner than later!
As for the piano, well, it needs a little work. Ten years of nonuse, stuffed in corners has done a number on it. The tuner guy is coming in a week, and hopefully after a $200 pitch raise the piano will be in good-enough working shape. At least for us it will have to be!

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