Thursday, September 5, 2013

Pianos


WARNING: This post is completely unrelated to decorating. Instead, I'm taking an opportunity to share with you a passion of mine that, at 31, I'm finally exploring. You see, when I was a child, I wanted to learn to play the piano. But, I was flighty. One day I wanted to play baseball, the next I wanted to be an astronaut, the following a concert pianist, and ... after a while of my pleading for every little thing that went along with those dreams (including begging my mother to make me a space suit and send me to NASA space camp) Mom stopped indulging me. Instead, she said: "I'll buy you a keyboard, if you stick to your lessons, then we'll get a piano." Reasonable, right? 

No! I was a precocious little thing, and demanded that I have a piano. Since she stayed strong with her no, I never took lessons. Twenty-five years later, I'm starting. 

Of course, part of that precocious child is still in me. One night, I said to Scott, we're getting a baby grand piano. Yes - a friggen baby grand piano! 


The next morning I figured out exactly where it'd go, and I went on Craigslist and started looking for local sellers of used baby grand pianos. I looked at 4, yes FOUR, each of them worse than the one before it. The first sounded like a tinker toy, the second had a poor sound, but a terrible case. The third had keys missing ... literal keys! How do you play a piano with no keys!?!? The fourth I literally walked in, and walked out. I didn't even sit down. Why do people put anything and everything on Craigslist? Some things really should just go to the trash.

Anyway, I decided to look at new baby grands. While I could buy one, I could also buy a Fiat, or a Rolex, maybe take a 22-day European vacation, four cruises, or even refurnish my entire house. So, dejected, I told Scott that I'd never learn to play!


Then, the part of my mother that rubbed off on me (I'm sure she's very proud) said Artie, (because that's what I call myself when I talk to myself) buy a great keyboard. When you learn to play, you can buy yourself a new baby grand. Ah! Mom was right all along! So, $500.00 later, I'm the proud owner of a Yamaha electronic piano.

It has a great sound. Amazing actually. And it'll be a great instrument in my learning. Lessons start in a couple of weeks. So, there you have it ... for an hour a day, for the next foreseeable future, I'll be sitting at that bad boy, tickling the ivories ... so to speak ... trying to make this lifelong dream come true!

22 comments:

  1. I really enjoyed reading this post! Your Craigslist experience is like what I have encountered shopping on it…disappointments. I hope you have a great time with your new passion!

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    1. Oh Elena, it was horrible. And they were all so expensive. We're not talking my going to look at Baby Grand pianos for $500 bucks, then I could understand them being good DIY bases for cabinets or whatever - but to sell a piano, for good money, that needs thousands in repairs ... some people are just nuts! So far, I LOVE my keyboard/electronic piano!!

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  2. Ah Artie, to learn the piano is one of my great dreams and the violin and the hapr... whe I get around to it. Great post, thanks.

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    1. I figure now is as good a time as any Ming! :)

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  3. My mother gave me lessons for two years because SHE wanted to play the piano. Ya don't get far without practice. I must have been a horrible student and my teacher must have had the patience of Job! NOW I would like to learn to play and I adore baby grands. Wish I could fit one in at Linderhof. You DID take the sensible route. Good for you and I'm hoping that we'll hear more!

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    1. Oh Martha, I had to completely rearrange the rooms and their purpose to have on at CDLV. And I really do believe that at some point, I will have one ... so I'm glad that I took the time to map it all out - but getting a keyboard first was sensible. I guess my mother taught me something after all! :)
      xoxo,
      A

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  4. Thats wonderful Artie, my parents got my son something similiar (less expensive and different brand) and he took lessons for a few months and then abandoned it, I am hoping to get him interested in it again. Enjoy!

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    1. Thanks Sarah. There was a different keyboard, still Yamaha, but it wasn't a full 88-key board. I really wanted to feel like I was making an investment in something that would translate well into an actual piano. So, even though it was more than one that had all of these different sounds and programmable songs, etc., I think that it will be the better teaching tool for me. I can't wait to start lessons ... I bought two books today so that I could start playing around on my own a little before hand. I'll keep everyone up to speed, promise!
      xoxo,
      A

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  5. Yamaha is a great piano! If you really can't find a nice baby grand, we have a Yamaha piano at church that is wonderful! I love to play it and the sound is so good. My piano here at home was made in 1898 and is a gem. It's an upright with beautiful carvings. Hope you will enjoy your practice sessions.♥♫

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    1. I am really enjoying this electronic piano by Yamaha Marilyn, the sound is outstanding. I've found the baby grand that I want, but I am hesitant to shell out that kind of money before I learn how to play and can really make the most use out of it. ;)
      xoxo,
      A

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  6. I always wanted to play piano too. My grandparents who lived next door had an old Hammond organ so I got to take organ lessens. I took lesson from the 3rd grade right through college, played organ in church every Sunday in Jeddo to help pay my college tuition and even did a few nights in some bar/lounge in the Lockport (but don't tell anybody because I'll deny it). I was talking to someone just this past weekend that I don't think I could even read music anymore...but I'd still like to learn to play the piano if only to play the Moonlight Sonata. There's just something about it. I hope you enjoy it!

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    1. LOL! Honky tonk organist.

      I thought the same thing Steve, about reading music. I've been a singer forever and ever, and did musical theatre before we moved to NY. So, I could read music very well, but haven't picked up a piece of music in years. When I bought the book that I've been thumbing through, it all sorta came back ... like riding a bike.

      FACE
      EGBDF

      All those little things Patty Wetzle taught me, Every Good Boy Does Fine ... etc..

      I'm really very hopeful about this, I can't wait to get started!

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  7. Congratulations on starting lessons! I think that's wonderful. I've been playing piano for 32 years and only recently replaced our piano ... which was the same piano I played growing up. Needless to say, that console piano my parents bought for $2,000 in the 1980s was ready to retire. I hemmed and hawed about the expense of a new piano and then decided to fulfill MY dream of a baby grand. My husband graciously said he'd wait with getting a new car (his has 189,000 miles on it) and we bought a Kawaii instead. My youngest son also plays piano and I'm so happy he has this magnificent instrument to play on and grow into. And I'm having a blast with it, too. Best of luck with your lessons and fulfilling your dream!

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  8. I'm so happy for,you Artie. You will really enjoy the keyboard and its a great way to learn. My husband surprised me with a piano early on in our marriage and bought me a keyboard. Now I should just find the time to play both! Keep practicing. My favorite quote is ...every expert was once a beginner.

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  9. What is the saying - 'You are never too old to try something new'. You have encouraged me.
    My partner owns a Chickering Grand Piano - Antique! We've only been together for six years and the piano has been 'stored' at a fellow musicians home for the last four years while we looked for a house - so I haven't really had the chance to try it out. In the new year we will be moving into our new home and the piano will have a very special spot there.
    Maybe I'll sit on the piano bench with our three year old granddaughter and we can learn to play together.

    Have fun - practice, practice, practice.

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  10. Congrats on your new purchase Artie and wishing you positive success in fulfilling your dream. I too always wanted to learn how to play one however never did, but I do own an antique player one. Actually a number of years ago an acquaintance of my hubby had swapped it for a few car parts .... jackpot for me as it also came with many collectable rolls and I can play to my little hearts content. ☺ It did require tuning and replacing of two strings however otherwise it required no refurbishing. (Even the original billows were in good shape and all ivory keys were accounted for. -Brenda-
    P.S: No need for an exercise bike or a treadmill .... as it provides a great workout as well.

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  11. I LOVED this post Artie!! I too share a musical bucket list item, to learn to play fiddle. I played classical violin for almost 20 years, but barely a bit for the last 15. And fiddling is not quite the same as classical! If you can do this from scratch, I think I can make this happen...
    Amy

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  12. WooHoo Artie! I am very proud of you as well!
    It is certainly never to late to make our dreams come true!
    (PS I am hoping you will make one of my dreams come true)

    When I was a girl, out of eight children my parents decided my sister Cynthia had the most musical capabilities, so she received the piano lessons, they bought an upright, never the less!

    I also wish I could simply carry a note! Singing would be wonderful!

    xoxo
    Karena
    2013 Artists Series

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  13. Artie! It's so nice to hear from you! I'm so proud of you and the keyboard is a wonderful instrument too. You will learn to play the piano because you want to and you'll do well. I have a baby grand and have been playing since I was 12. Playing the piano is like therapy! I play when I'm happy. I play when I'm sad. My husband bought me my baby grand in 1987 and I call it 'my gift'. Thanks for popping in to see me.
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

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  14. For this reason alone, I'm following you. You are totally amazing and wonderful. So happy to meet you. xx's

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  15. Go for it, Artie,I am sure you will be fabulous!

    xoxo
    Mimi

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  16. It's never too late to try something new. Much like, it's never too late to chase a dream that you've had since you were a kid. It's wonderful to hear that you are learning to play the piano now after all those years of contemplating whether you should go for it or not. Well, how are your lessons going? I hope you have a good instructor to help you fulfill your life-long dream.
    Patti @ Avila Music School

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