This weekend our piano will be finding a new home.
A lovely new home with Orlando Grandma.
I've polished it up and it's ready to go where it will be played more and appreciated.
Believe it or not I took piano lessons for nine years when we lived in Toronto
until we moved when I was fifteen. I found many of my old piano books
that were used during those years of instruction.
They sound fancy. They sound like they should have produced a piano virtuoso,
but I was a reluctant student.
Not to mention the overwhelming stage fright I would experience during
recital time. We had to memorize our pieces and that added to the pressure.
It was excruciating for me and I think it ruined the joy of playing for me as
I would anticipate those twice yearly recitals.
I had the same teacher all those years, Miss Aiken. Right out of 1960s central casting
for a piano teacher. A spinster who wore skirts and jackets and hats to each
lesson, with a purse dangling from one arm
and a satchel of theory work (ugh) in the other.
- AND, she came to our house. She was scary to me. I'm sure she,
in reality, was quite kind and probably was frustrated at my lack of
progress at times.
I loved to play popular music as you can see by a couple of pieces in the piano bench.
I remember when I was about thirteen, Miss Aiken let me work on The Beatles' "Yesterday"
for lesson work. Probably to motivate me.
I wonder if she liked The Beatles.
The well-worn copy I played from for Miss Aiken.
This is not the original piano I took lessons with. This is the one my parents bought
when we moved to Florida in 1974, hoping I might
take more lessons, but I was busy with marching band and
high school distractions. Besides, Miss Aiken didn't move with us.
My dad could play by ear and had a talent for sight reading.
I think he hoped that I would get the enjoyment he
got from playing the piano. I'm not sure he ever had a
lesson. Maybe that's why he enjoyed it so much.
Original sheet music of my father's.
The Writer liked to pick out tunes on this old friend and The Maven took lessons for a few years,
and she had the talent for it, but I think her teacher
ruined the experience for her unbeknownst to me.
Even Mr. Tennis took lessons for a time during the early years of our marriage.
He definitely has the talent for piano as he can also play by ear and
sight read after he learned the notes.
Orlando Grandma, I know you will have fun with my old friend.
Meanwhile, this other old friend is getting a facelift.
It was Mr. T's paternal grandmother's hope chest. It has been
passed on to The Maven after being in storage for many years where it's
top surface suffered a bit.
The Maven has asked me to see if I can bring out the beauty of this gem
and I'm going to give it a try with the help of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint.
A distressed finished was requested and I think the light paint and subsequent sanding,
staining and waxing will bring out the elaborate carved design.
So, that's what I hope to be working on in the near future - I started today
by emptying the chest and admiring it's cedar interior.
Some old friends leave, some stay and become new friends all over again.