Friday, October 13, 2006

The Sound of Wishful Thinking

Recently I blogged about finding old sheet music and how that brought back beautiful memories of my piano teacher, Mrs. Choate. I am reliving those days and moments with my son now. He is in his second month of lessons and doing quite well. I sit and listen as he practices. Often he will ask me to play through the entire piece for him, so that he can hear the melody. We have a Yamaha keyboard that we use.

( I had a relative question why I was paying good money to someone else to teach him when I could have myself. But I think he will learn more and listen more to someone else than Mama. I think it's money well spent.) But back to the keyboard.

The keyboard is okay for learning where the notes are. It is horrible for learning interpretative skill. You just can't learn the softness and lightness of finger pressure needed to elicit certain sounds, even with weighted keys. I don't care what anyone tells you, a piece of equipment that runs off electrical current can never, NEVER duplicate the sound of hammers hitting strings. I have played both, and I prefer the actual piano over the keyboard. I am a purist when it comes to sound quality. If I had my druthers, I would have a baby grand sitting in my front room.
I can't afford one unless I find one secondhand somewhere. But I am looking.

I miss playing. I drove my family crazy practicing as a child. When I was about 12 I started playing for church services. I would play the piano or the organ, whichever spot was vacant. Whenever I would get the blues I would play. It seemed to soothe the beast inside, much like David playing for Saul. I left the old upright at Mama's when I married. My sister offered to bring it to me, but it's a huge instrument and sadly worn out. There are several keys that no longer play. And if you know anything about piano repair costs, that is not a cheap repair.
And so it sits there in my sister's living room sad and forlorn and silent. I used to be adament about her getting rid of it, but I told her recently it was okay, that I was searching for a replacement. Sometimes you just have to let go of the past and look forward to new dreams.

So Santa, I'm putting in my list early this year. You think you can find me a bargain somewhere? I'd settle for a small console if the sound was good. And I promise I've been good this year. Christmas, yikessssss!!!!! It's just around the bend.


Praying for your Prodigal said...

I have heard the same comments from other purists. While the untrained ear may not notice the difference--there is a difference.

How wonderful for your son that his momma enjoys listening to his lessons! When my oldest children were younger--their practice coincided with my dinner preparation. I told them I enjoyed listening to their practice-it was dinner music! That worked for a short time. While my daughter was inspired by her ability to provide dinner son was not impressed!

And to Santa.......I promise....I'll be good too--please bring Cindy her grand piano! Happy bargain hunting Cindy!


Amydeanne said...

We have an old piano like that.. it's waiting for us on our farm, but I'm afraid the past several moves has probably killed it, so we'll have to look for a new one.
Lovely blog!

Gretchen Lavender said...

I don't know if you have a Steinway store nearby, but the one in Nashville has a back room full of used pianos. They won't resell them unless they are good either. They get them as trade ins. Why? Because when you buy a new piano at Steinway, you can always trade it in later to trade up. I can't remember what percentage that you get on the trade in though, but I remember thinking that it was very high. So, when people can afford a new piano, they trade in their old one at the same place they bought it at (Steinway), so they have an okay selection with pretty good quality. That's where our church got our last piano. I think we payed around $3,000 for it and it is very good - nothing fancy, but very solid.

sweetmagnolia said...

I wasn't allowed to have piano lessons as a child because my parents couldn't stand to hear my sisters' attempts at practicing their lessons.

I hope your son enjoys his lessons. Maybe he will play for your church some day the way you did as a child.

pt2006 said...

Well, it's not exactly silent all the time. My dear husband takes a notion to open and peck now and then. Sure wish he knew how to play. lol.

Kathleen Marie said...

Old sheet music! Awesome. I inherited a ton of it from my sweet mom-in-law. Some was her mothers, some great aunts, etc... I love the drawings. I don't play piano but I have a son and daughter who do and they both treasure a lot of it as well. I hope your son likes lessons. My kids complained a lot but now they thank me for making them do it. I miss hearing them play now that they have grown and moved away. I am getting melancholy ;)