21 August 2011

Trouble, with a Capital T

. . . and that rhymes with P and that stands for PIANO!

We bought a piano today. I've always wanted a piano. I don't play, but I know how much a piano background would have helped me when I was starting oboe at the ripe old age of 14. The musical fundamentals that come from studying piano are good for any further musical endeavors, and the musical experimentation that one can do with easy access to a piano are also a huge plus. No reeds to soak! No strings to tune (well, not every time you play, at least)! You can just sit down and make music, voilĂ .

Knowing nothing about pianos, I was daunted by the idea of finding one to buy, then further daunted by the idea of having it moved. I was psychologically daunted by the shopping—I might as well have had sucker stamped on my forehead—and financially daunted by the possible price of the purchase and the moving. It's not like this was weighing on my mind given that at age five, Maddie and Riley are just now about ready for the possibility of lessons, but owning a piano was certainly one of those things that could have just ended up not happening due to my not wanting to figure it all out.

But then, today, we went back to church for the first time since June. I've missed church, but we've had a busy summer with lots of weekend travel or other obligations, and we've managed to go almost two months without going. The church yard sale was yesterday, and there were a few boxes of yard sale remnants around the front door for people to peruse and purchase.

Just inside the front door, at the back of the foyer, was the piano that is now our piano. It was just sitting there, with a sign on it, that was marked $500 with a strikethrough down to $350. I took mental note, then sat down for the service. All I thought about the whole service was that piano, though, and after services I asked around to see who might be able to give me the scoop. Turns out that the church has owned and cared for it for 40 years, and that it was the main piano for the religious education program and building for most (all?) of that time. The RE program has a new piano, so now this one, a Pease upright, needs a new home.

The chair of the music committee has personally cared for the instrument for some twenty-odd years, and he's getting a few things fixed up before it comes into our possession. Even better, it looks as though the director of the choir will be able to transport it for me if I can find some strong friends to help get it into the house. Fabulous.

I have a large piece of furniture that I'll need to get rid of in order to accommodate the piano, but I'll post that on Freecycle tonight and hope for the best. I'm just so excited! We'll have a piano! I would like to take lessons, too. I think it could be fun (and I'm sure at times frustrating) for the kids and I to learn something together. Yay! What a day, what a surprise.

14 comments:

Amber said...

How exciting! We bought Avery's piano under somewhat similar, very spontaneous, circumstances and I'm so glad we did. If it hadn't practically fallen in our laps, I'm confident we still would not have one. Gotta love how things works out like that.

Crash Course Widow said...

Hooray! Fun!

My mom started my sister and I on piano lessons when I was in 1st grade, so right after/as I turned 6. I remember that it took a long time to be able to stretch an octave.

I did band starting in 5th grade--3 weeks on flute before switching to trumpet, and then to French horn from 7th through 12th grade--and I stupid quit piano lessons (and dance classes) in 6th grade to do school sports, in a futile attempt to not be on the absolute bottom of the school social echelon. Which was a totally dumb move in so many ways because I totally sucked at sports, and I always wished later that I hadn't stopped piano or dance classes.

I'd like to get Anna started on piano someday too for exactly the reasons you mentioned, and it's something I'd like to pick back up too. I'd be hooked on a good offer like that too!

Best of luck with the piano moving and, eventually, lessons! =)

Lise said...

Yay! What a fun purchase.

Have you priced professional piano movers? It may be less than you think. It only cost me $65 to have my piano moved from a second floor apartment to my new house, 10 miles away. It was well worth it to me, to avoid risking my friends' backs and my beloved piano. If the movers had dropped it, their insurance would have had to pay for repair or replacement. Had a group of friends done so, I would have had to pay for it myself. And if a friend had injured himself I would have been horrified. Just a thought.

carosgram said...

How perfect! Thinking of you and wishing you the best

Anonymous said...

Snick,
Don't forget that playing a piano should be fun. It is terribly important to get a teacher/instructor who thinks of this as an important goal, just as important as playing well. Unfortunately, I did not have such a teacher...
LD

Suzanne said...

Yay!
Do yourself a HUGE favor. Hire a professional mover. It should cost around $200 but will save you all sorts of headaches. If they hurt the piano in transit, they will repair or replace it for you.

Also, we just finished up the series "Music for Little Mozarts." I highly recommend it! So much fun for the kiddos and it has a solid foundation for music instruction.

Zero said...

I love, love, love old pianos for so many reasons, and am so excited to hear about you having one. Yet another reason for us to stop in for a visit, as though we needed another reason.

Many happy wishes for you and yours and all of those keys, hammers, and strings, just waiting to be struck...

OTRgirl said...

What a great story! I love when stuff like that works out.

I had a coworker who was giving away his little upright piano and I wanted to go for it. This is where being married to a procrastinating, busy person with a musician's training gets in the way. He never had time to go try it out and I think didn't want to deal with moving a piano across the country. I'm hoping for another piano "opportunity" now that we're settled in our new place. We grew up with a piano in the house. My Mom could sing and play and made all three of us do lessons. None of us were that good, but it was still a wonderful part of our childhoods.

I have hope that my husband's musical genes will beat mine in our kid!

What A Card said...

Oh fun! We started our kids on piano lessons about 6 months ago, when they were 5 and a half. It's gone so well, and it's so fun! I don't know how to play, but can't help but learn along with them as I practice with them every day. You'll have a grand time!

Anonymous said...

Ha ha, love the Music Man reference!

Alayna said...

Wow, what a cool purchase! I look forward to hearing the fruits of your future lessons at some point :)

Rachel said...

Awesome! We recently bought a used piano too. I've been giving my daughter lessons from the Alfred series. I'm so glad I learned piano when I was a kid, and I'm sure Maddie and Riley will be too.

Emily said...

Snick - we just got my parents' old piano and moved it ~ 30 minutes to our house for $150. Definitely look into movers! So much easier, and no stress. I also love that you know the person who has primarily taken care of it recently, and that he is giving it some love before you get it. Yay!

Anonymous said...

I have had good experiences with the Music for Young Children program - you could check to see if there is a teacher in your area (www.myc.com). It is very parent-involved and you do learn to play along with the child (though mine have surpassed me rather quickly!). It has a nice balance of piano and movement and singing and music theory that works for us. Enjoy your piano, whatever you do with it!