Sunday, December 19, 2010


I have always loved music. I know I'm not alone in saying that. I do a "bag" speech in my Public Speaking classes as a way of giving students an 'easy' first speech. All they have to do is put 6 items in a bag that represent significant parts of their personality or life, use them as visual aids, and tell us why they are so important to them. I believe out of 50 speeches this Fall semester, 49 of them included an iPod and the phrase "music is my life." I won't go that far (or be quite that cheesy) but I do enjoy music.

Since I was a child, I have wanted to play piano. I love piano. As I've mentioned before, we were poor and there simply was not extra money for piano lessons, particularly as there was no piano on which to practice. In grammar school, of
course, you could take instrument lessons, but since you generally ended up playing the instrument they needed you to play to fill out the 'orchestra' I was assigned to the cello. A beautiful instrument, I am certain, but not for a third grader who couldn't get her arms around it to play it, much less lug it back and forth to school. I don't think I lasted more than a few months, especially once the snow fell.

When I was in college I did take piano lessons for a couple of years. I was at a small liberals arts Christian college that had a fine music program. There were practice rooms available and, believe me, not much else to do that wouldn't get you into massive amounts of trouble. So, the means of practicing was there and I did take advantage of it. Unfortunately, being surrounded by music majors who had been playing since childhood was a bit intimidating and I did let that influence my confidence level. Then, when I transferred to a state university and declared a Communication/Theatre major -- well, let's say that rehearsals and traveling immediately took the place of practicing. My piano playing, such as it was, fell by the wayside.

And, yet, it was always there in the background - the desire to play. I listen to classical piano music - it is often on in the background while I work. I appreciate the simplicity of the notes, the melodies, the life of it. I often thought that I might like to take lessons again when I retire. It would be a way to keep my hands moving despite my arthritis. It would be a way to keep my brain moving - they say that playing piano is an excellent way to develop new neural pathways that help fight off the effects of aging.

And, then a little miracle happens. I have been gifted a piano. It arrived yesterday. Two big strong guys brought it in and put it into place. The tuner is coming tomorrow, although it is surprisingly in tune after having been moved in such cold weather. It is beautiful, and accompanied by a (blessedly) padded bench. I have been obsessed since it arrived. I have taken breaks to stretch, to eat, to sleep, and now to write, but not much else. I am fascinated by every sound that it makes, by every tone, every note. It may be a very long time before I am actually able to play something recognizable, and I don't care. I am playing. Piano.

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations on your piano Judy! I hope you enjoy it.
    I took piano lessons for years as a child (funded by the generosity of my grandmother). David did too for a short while -- ask him about it sometime.....he didn't have as good a teacher as I did and his stories are pretty funny.