I know very little about what inspired my parents to get a piano and start us on lessons. I wonder what kind of expectations they had for what would come of such an acquisition.
They could not have known of the comradery that would come with the weekly lessons I took with 2 of my best friends. The comfort of the home of our piano teacher where we would do our homework while waiting on the next pianist in line. The long talks at her kitchen counter, her high expectations… another teacher providing a safe place for learning and failing.
They couldn’t have seen how my brother would embrace the music. How it would awaken something within him that led to a lifetime of creating and inspiring. He caught on fast, discovered himself in the notes, and found a language that he could speak fluently. In the picture of him opening his first guitar on his birthday, the piano looms large in the background overseeing the development of something brilliant.
How many moments such as this did the piano witness in her nearly 100 year lifetime? These last 30 years at least 3 families have learned and taught at her bench. How many more before that? Young, old, frustrated, proud, eager, anxious, and relieved hands played at her keys this past century. Her beauty was commanding, her presence inspiring, and her homes humble.
No great concert halls.
No large audiences.
Just regular people finding out how music fits into life.
In her last days she still played but her tone was out of reach. The experts agreed her sound could not be restored without invasive procedures. As loved as she was by all of us, the time had come. An era had come to an end.
My daughter, the last pianist to love her, has carefully and lovingly been taking apart the pieces to salvage and repurpose. She carefully looked over the build and deduced how best to gently take apart the sections from the whole. In her young eyes she sees an end but also the beginning of something. She still sees possibility.
Even at this final hour, the piano inspires discovery, creativity, and pride.
Her legacy lives on.