I miss my piano

We had a restored Steinway I grew up with, big beautiful black, it sat in a room that was carpeted with white, the back wall all windows up to the vaulted ceiling with cream colored lace curtains to the floor. It was a huge room too, rooms I can’t imagine in a house now, so big it’s just not practical, what did we need with that room. Except, only a room this big, this beautiful could be home to this piano. White silk covered couches from Japan, the black coffee table between them, the imported furniture from around the world so subtle, so as to not take away from the masterpiece. The attached dining room table was mahogany, seating 12, nothing less than big dinner parties were served here. I remember putting an air-mattress in the floor during hurricane Alicia in the 80’s when we lost power for 3 days, we slept in there and played piano for entertainment, plus the generator was easy to access from outside the side door.

I could never play the piano naturally as my step father could. I practiced every day for 2 hours for 7 years and still never had the natural ability he had to play by ear. I use to go upstairs to the game-room that over looked the formal living room and listen to him play for hours at a time. I heard some of the most beautiful music I’ve ever heard, not only did he play what was in front of him with no practice, no struggle, he could add to a simplified piece so that when I tried, it still never sounded quite as beautiful. Everyone says I played like a professional. I don’t know about that, I never felt “gifted” at it, I had to work at it, no matter how much I appreciated the beauty of the piano and music, it never came naturally like it did for some people. Maybe starting at 7 years old I was too young to know. Piano Sonata No. 11 in A major was one of my favorites to play. I loved the faster, classics, the harder it was the more I had to learn it, try harder, I was bored when my instructor wanted me to play pop music, it was too easy, it had no heart. I use to play for my parents Christmas parties. I have to find a picture of it somewhere, me in my big red dress, 10 years old, playing for a bunch of adults. I miss that, as much as I don’t like to show off, when I worked hard on a piece, I loved to play it.

When he left, or when my mom took us away I should say, I went a year without a piano, when she finally bought me one, it was an upright, I was only allowed to play during hours the neighbors weren’t home since it was an apartment. The acoustics were horrible, it didn’t feel right. I abruptly quit and haven’t played again. I think I’d like to try again, it’s been 20 years. I haven’t had access to a decent piano, and in a way, I think it hurts my soul to attempt to play a less than beautiful instrument, one of utility only shouldn’t be used to play beautiful music. I can’t imagine Chopin, Beethoven, Schumann, Bach, Mozart, and Schubert played on an upright, in an apartment. No, it doesn’t seem right. I’d like to go pick up a free piano now, to practice, but I think it would sit, collecting dust, not feeling right in my crowded living room. No, somehow, I know I need my grand piano back, I know I can’t afford a Steinway right now, maybe some day, maybe some day I can also afford the room to put it in. I wonder if I can still play, is it like riding a bike or typing? Put my fingers to the keys and it will come back to me? I can almost close my eyes and feel it. Instead I listen.  Pandora Piano Solo’s

Sorry, not my usual controversial blog, just what I was thinking about today. Missing that outlet I had, missing most of my creativity that I feel robbed of from my education years. Wishing something as simple as an instrument could bring it all back.


10 Responses to “I miss my piano”

  1. 1 dontknowwhoyouare
    September 1, 2010 at 8:49 pm

    I’d love to hear you play your piano.

  2. September 1, 2010 at 10:19 pm

    I want this…. http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Casio+-+Celviano+Full-Size+Keyboard+with+88+Touch-Sensitive+Keys/9910027.p?id=1218193838313&skuId=9910027 I think I need to find a new job to afford it though. I could get a freebie off craigs list or freecycle or something, but it would cost hundreds to tune and to get moved upstairs… plus, would drive my neighbors nuts! This has grand piano sounds and headphones! Or I can turn the volume down! I likey!

  3. September 1, 2010 at 10:26 pm

    http://www.millerpiano.com/UsedInventory.htm ugh, the one I want is only $33,000!! I will just sell my couch, get rid of it, and the coffee table, and everything on that side of the room and squish it in… what do ya think? lol… as if!

  4. September 1, 2010 at 11:10 pm

    If there is one thing I have always longed for was to have musical ability. I played the trumpet for a couple of years, but was encouraged to pick up another hobby. Journalism was where I went…and then, naturally, on to electrical work.

    This piano theme seems to fall right in line with the past couple of posts…about not settling for something less than what you actually want.


  5. September 1, 2010 at 11:20 pm

    I really don’t have that natural musical gift, I have to work at it, I had to learn from a very basic level to read music and practice my scales, and all kinds of crappy exercises daily to get good. By the time I was 12 I was playing very advanced stuff. But it took a lot of practice, which is not what a kid wants to do at the time. There was a lot of yelling “I don’t hear you playing” in our house when I was supposed to be practicing, then I’d belt out chopsticks until he came running in there to stand over me and yell some more, punishing me to play another hour extra. It worked though.

    I wonder after 20 years if I can play at all though. My mom has that same upright in her basement now, totally out of tune, no one in her house plays, she attempts it sometimes, but gives up. I’ve asked her to give it to me, she refuses. I think she knows me all too well, that I want the grand back. I’m spoiled to beautiful things.

    You see a theme huh? Wanting what I can’t have? Wanting perfection? Wanting only the best? I think you pegged me. If you saw my house, the things I own, you would laugh… I really am spoiled, when I want the best, I get the best.

  6. September 2, 2010 at 12:03 am

    I think my drawing came from years of work and not natural ability…I dabbled in editorial cartoons with the local paper, but it didn’t come naturally. Now I can draw about anything, but I refuse to because I now longer have my drawing table and fresh supplies. Maybe it falls in line with your piano playing.

    You seem consistent though…

    • September 2, 2010 at 12:53 am

      My artistic abilities are my natural talent, but since going to art school, getting a bachelors in fine arts, I lost my mojo, I think it stifled my creativity. The reason I learned to play piano in the first place was that my art didn’t fit into the white carpet fancy lifestyle of my step father. He knew I had creative talent, he hoped it would be musical as well. It wasn’t. I had to work at that. Drawing, sculpture, painting, all comes natural to me, I just don’t do it anymore because, well, I lost my mojo. I don’t want to, it doesn’t speak to me anymore. I think school, being forced to do what I was told, not what I wanted, paint in a certain style, sculpt certain things, with certain mediums, killed my passion for it. I appreciate it, sometimes I want to do it again, but I can’t find the inspiration. Maybe I need a muse. Maybe I need art supplies. I have a potters wheel, a nice one, it cost $600 10 years ago, it sits untouched in my closet. Makes me sad, but I have no motivation to use it, none.

  7. September 3, 2010 at 1:31 pm

    I lost my piano in my divorce 3 years ago. I am now remarried, and my husband bought me a digital piano.

    It’s not a piano, but it’s NICE. It’s a Yamaha P-95. I am so happy to play again.

    I never took lessons growing up, but I was a singer, and needed something to practice with, and I taught myself chords and such and could eventually play enough to sing along. I’m decent enough right now, and I really enjoy it.

    It’ll come back to you. It’s only been three years for me (20 for you), but I played for hours when I first brought it home, and the only thing that stopped me was that my fingers got really tired!

    • September 3, 2010 at 2:04 pm

      I’ve been looking at getting something like that, something I can plug headphones into as to not disturb all my neighbors. I have a young newlywed couple that live in a little one br. condo below me, I’m pretty sure they can hear my every movement as it is, I can hear theirs. I’m pretty sure a real piano would sound like it was coming through my floor, and even resonate to the units on both sides of me. If I hated my neighbors… maybe it would be a good thing, but right now I have decent ones.

      I think I’ll pick it right back up, I had a dream last night that I was playing, my fingers moving so quickly over the keys. They were moving so fast, like the glide now over a keyboard when I type, that I don’t even think about it. I remember going “woah… how did I do that?” It was a cool dream. Maybe when I get my stock dividends this year I’ll go get a electronic keyboard so I can play again, see if it speaks to me.

  8. September 3, 2010 at 8:26 pm

    We live in a condo, too, which is why he got the digital piano for me.

    You really should. If you loved it as much as I did, it just feels so good. Such an amazing outlet. I use the headphones a bit so I don’t disturb the neighbors. Sometimes I don’t though, and if I don’t crank it too high, I don’t think they hear.

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