Thursday, May 16, 2013

the first piano i ever touched

My parents were thrilled to have an opportunity to get their first, very own, black baby grand piano.

(Why is it that the people who deserve and will use the heck out of those things never get them until they're halfway through their life while other people simply use them as home decor?  Annoying.)

I'm so excited for them.  That piano will be taken care of and will get so much use in their home.

Because this piano would be living in their piano room, they had to do a little switcheroo with their other pianos.  I won't bore you with the details, but the exciting part is this:  I got to switch out our piano (my first piano, the one they gave us a few years ago) with their upright piano (which is nicer and has 4,970 memories attached to it).  This piano was my mom and dad's first piano.  It's lasted my mom all of her years and years of songwriting, piano teaching, and provided all 3 of her children with a place to practice.

This is the piano I learned on.  Although I don't know this for a fact, I would venture to say that this is the first piano I ever touched with my own two sticky toddler hands.

I learned my first scale on this piano.  I learned some of my most favorite pieces on this piano.  I learned how to read chord charts on this piano.  I learned how to sing and play at the same time on this piano.  I learned how to write songs on this piano.

And now it's in my home.  What a gift!

When the piano switch was made several weeks ago, I stood there for awhile in our music room just looking at it.  Then I noticed the pile of music that needed to be put back into this new piano bench.  I opened the bench and this is what I saw.

Immediately, tears started to fill my eyes.  These were my two favorite pieces I played during my elementary years.

My dad would come home from work, sit down on the couch, and ask me to play "Touch a Rainbow."  And I did.  He'd close his eyes and maybe doze off for 5 minutes before the craziness of an evening with 3 kids and their activities began.  I was 8 years old when I played that piece and as far as I can remember, it was my first piece to play with my hands not in a position.  I felt so old and experienced as my left hand spread out over the keys. 

"The Music Box" is one of those pieces that has always stuck with me.  Although I've never remembered it perfectly, there have been many times in my life when I've sat down at a piano and played through the right hand line.  I'll never forget that melody.  I remember looking at it for the first time and thinking, "There's hardly any white on this page!  No way I can play it!"  But I was wrong.  I could play it and I did when I was 9 years old.

The note from my mom was just the cherry on top.  Moms just have that way of making you cry.

This piano represents so many things to me, but one thing that stands out is perseverance.

If I had a nickel for every time someone said they took lessons as a kid, hated it, begged their parents to quit, and now wish they would've kept going, I'd be living in a mansion, eating fancy chocolate, and watching Bravo all day long.

I can't tell you how many times I cried and asked mom to let me quit.  I remember specifically that one time my excuse was that I knew what I needed to know to play the piano on my own.  (I have a feeling that my college piano professor, Dr. Bell, would've sweetly disagreed with that statement.)

Perseverance is something we all need a little dose of.  Period.  For me, my first encounter with it was in playing the piano.

I learned that giving up doesn't ever end up feeling as good as pushing through.  Even if it's painful or hard.  And because I kept taking lessons and my mom kept saying, "No, you can't quit," I now have something that a price can't be put on.  Playing the piano is a part of my every day life.  I can't imagine my life without it.  If ever my parents wondered why they were sinking all of that money into piano lessons, those doubts are long gone.  They've seen me use it over and over.  And besides the fact that it's something I can do, it's something that I love to do! 

Because of this piano, my life is different.

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