yesterday i bought a piano.
i have never bought a piano before in my life. i am very excited. princess starts lessons at school next tuesday and i am going to ask her teacher if she will give me classes.
i have always wanted to play the piano
you know how often people say that? it's like some magical, unobtainable thing, to be able to play the piano.
i got it from a tuner who restores and sells pianos. lois, an old friend of my mother's, recommended him. me and the kids drove down to carrum yesterday and len showed me three to choose from. he was in his fifties, had large and dirty hands, cause he has a workshop out the back. he puts new bits and pieces in the pianos and it has been a family business since 1912. he talks about them like they are alive. things like:
a piano does well with having its lid left open
a piano will just settle into any spot you pop it
he understood when i told him i wanted princess to love her piano, take it with her when she grows up and leaves home, that it will be an heirloom that she will have in her family long after i am gone. i also told him that i wanted to give her the opportunity to have what i didn't have, the potential to perhaps play gorgeously like him. to be able to sit down at an instrument and play.
i'm sure my mum asked if i wanted lessons.
nup, i probably said. ungrateful beast. i was all about netball and skateboards.
so there were three pianos in a little shed. he said they were all good instruments, all with iron frames and so sound they would all last another couple of generations at least.
1. a mendelsson from about 1918, made in america that a piano teacher had used for lessons. this was an upright grand, in a gorgeous cabinet with very special features, such as a gorgeous little key, a large music stand, and a practice pedal that you can use to mute the volume. superb burnished walnut i think he said.
2. a ronaldi piano, about the same vintage i think, in the teens, made in germany but after the name of an italian composer/musician. this had been used in a church. it had some brass features and a floral carving. it was cute but it didn't grab me. princess of course was drawn to this one.
3. a foster & co, made in america, around 1926. this was used for playing jazz. it's high and it's a darker wood, matt finish, like a solid oak or something, i really don't know my woods that well. this also has a large sheet music rest. grand and satisfying. with a history. it looks like a pilgrim's piano, i don't know why i think that. it is austere and imposing, yet with really simple lines - i loved it.
so number one was 4k and the others 3k. my budget stretched to 3, so the upright grand was out of the question. really, no truly. mmm...
so we were to choose between church and jazz. can you see where i'm going here?
len sat down, first at the mendelsson. he played a gorgeous piece, it was bright and airy.
the church piano he played amazing grace and i almost cried. he plays beautifully.
at the jazz piano of course he played a piece full of jazz riffs. i was sold. my dad is the jazz man incarnate, and even though i'm not sure if he still plays, he might have some sheet music and i really see myself learning to play. i can taste it.
so we stepped outside to talk business and the kids jumped on, one piano each.
sounds like a modern piece, muttered len with a smile.
so piano is arriving tomorrow afternoon, i am so so excited. my mum is coming around saturday morning with her classical sheet music to potter on it.
and i really won't mind if princess, as is her fickle way, decides piano is not for her. she can keep it and have it and i'm sure she will enjoy the luxury of just having a piano.