The Piano

The piano!

My little budding musician.

Well, we finally bit the bullet. After 12 years of me being utterly piano-less, we bought one.

And it arrived last Saturday!

And it’s so pretty!

And shiny!

And, oh, the SOUND this baby makes.

Back in the day, before leaving for college, I played for 10 straight years, five of which I also taught as a student teacher under my piano teacher. Now, no one will argue that I was a better teacher than musician. My talent was really just so-so, and my drive to be absolutely fantastic at playing the piano wasn’t really there, but I don’t think it’s bragging TOO much to say I was a really, really good teacher.

Complicating my mediocre talent was terrible, TERRIBLE stage fright. I still don’t like to perform, not even for my parents or people I know.

Regardless, I missed that instrument, and when I overheard Charlotte playing notes on the mini keyboard I bought her for eight bucks and trying to match the notes with the pitch of her voice, I told Chris we needed to buy a piano NOW. He acquiesced, and I found an amazing piano store nearby that works by appointment only and specializes in refurbishing and repairing historical pianos, old Steinways, and so on. Oh, and they do NOT sell Yamaha or Kawai pianos. Or (retching sound) ELECTRONIC pianos.

Which appealed to my snobby side.

Of course, it’s not like we were in the market for a $120,000 Steinway grand either. What we (I) wanted was a good-quality upright. Our long-term goal is to eventually trade up to a baby grand (I had that bay window installed in our living SPECIFICALLY for a baby grand!) in a few years, but for now, an upright will do. The store also does 100% trade-ins, so exactly what we paid for the upright can be directly applied to a baby grand, when that day (which will not occur until all our offspring are out of private preschool/child care) comes.

I tested all the uprights (and some others, just for fun) at the store, and I really loved the two Brodmanns they had in stock. The sound was incredibly rich for an upright (I can’t stand a tin-sounding tone) and the keys were heavy and satisfyingly resistant (I don’t like loose keys or keys that require only a soft touch—besides, I think easy-touch keyboards make young students unprepared to play on more serious pianos, because they can’t properly produce sounds and their hand position goes to shit). One Brodmann had a SLIGHTLY richer tone than the other, but the other one was about $2,000 less. (I’ll explain why in a second.) I told the store owner my thoughts, and he said he knew exactly what I was talking about with the tone, but the craftspeople in back could easily adjust some part of the less expensive piano (I forget which part) to get that exact same sound, since they were essentially the same piano anyway.


See, the piano we bought was being sold as new but had technically been loaned to someone for 6 months while the store did a $40,000 restoration on this family’s main piano. (Can you imagine having forty grand laying around just to restore a piano?) Anyway, their kid still needed something to practice on, so the store loaned them this one. To compensate for 6 months of use on an instrument designed to last over a 100 years, they knocked $2,000 off the price.

I could not believe it and told Chris that if we were too idiotic not to buy this piano TODAY, someone smarter would buy it in no time. He blessed the transaction, and I could NOT believe that I was now the owner of a Brodmann piano.

The piano arrived while I was still in Indianapolis, and I played it as soon as I got home that night (thank goodness Charlotte can sleep through anything). I wanted to cry, this new baby of mine sounded so freaking good.

In the meantime, my mom is mailing me the music of my youth, and I bought some sheet music and music books via Amazon with a gift card I oh so conveniently received for my birthday some time ago. My plan is to build my lullaby repertoire. I have visions of my October baby swinging back in forth in a swing in the living room, my own special metronome, and him or her being lulled to sleep by his or her mommy playing for him or her. (Wow, that sentence would've been WAY easier to write if we just knew the gender!)

Charlotte, of course, has been quite taken with the new toy in the living room. On Sunday morning, I started playing and she RAN into the living room in tears, shouting, “MY chair! MY CHAIR!” and tried to push me off the piano bench. Oh, I nipped that one in the bud and explained that it was her chair, Mommy’s chair, and even Daddy’s chair. She’d have to SHARE it. She threw a big tantrum, I ignored her and stayed put on the bench, and she now perfectly accepts that EVERYBODY gets to use the piano.

So, yes, we let Charlotte play it, but she must first wash her hands. When I play “Wheels on the Bus” or “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” for her, she grins and does the hand motions along with the song, then she pounds a mess of sound on the low notes (she LOVES the lower notes) like mad, saying, “No, Mommy, LIKE THIS.”


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