I wrote this in response to Carrie Mesrobian’s Tiny Letter about her piano experiences. Which I cannot find online. It came to my mailbox, it doesn’t seem to be in her archive.
I played piano starting in second grade, and quit by fourth. I also hated to practice. That hatred of practice followed me to other instruments: flute, oboe, saxophone, guitar.
My mother sold our piano when I was in seventh grade. I hadn’t touched it in years. My grandmother objected. “Every house should have a piano,” she said “just in case someone might want to play it.” I was relieved it was gone, then wanted that piano back a few years later, even while avoiding practicing my concert band music.
I started playing again two years ago. I play about five minutes a day and have made minuscule progress. I play on a keyboard my friend bought for her daughter, before her daughter aged up to a real piano. It doesn’t have all 88 keys, and the keys it has aren’t weighted. I want a decent electronic piano (my boyfriend doesn’t think our house is big enough for a real piano) but haven’t saved the money, and am partially worried once I invested any sum of cash I would lose all interest and there the piano would sit, with the guilt rolling off of me when I dusted it.
When I play, I feel connected to that theoretical musician I once was. I think of an ex-boyfriend, who makes his living as a musician. I imagine futures when I will find people to blues jam with, or have people over to play and sing. The piano seems to transport me to the past or the future, with very little progress made in the present.
4 thoughts on “Essay: Piano”
This is lovely. I love the past/future aspect of the writing. Shawn has been very busy on the keyboard that my present sent when B got her baby grand. I saw Carrie Mesrobian speak at a conference here. She lives in MN! 🙂 I’m guessing you know that.
Does that mean you get to hear him practice? I love the sound of practicing. Is the keyboard still living in the guest room?
I do know that Ms. Mesrobian lives in MN. All her books are set in your state. It’s a nice change of pace. Plus, she has a podcast with another writer and I enjoy their accents.
Isn’t it funny how, when you’re a kid, you can be so certain that something is unimportant to you only to quickly find out that you’re wrong?
I’m personally of the opinion that, unless something doesn’t work or you absolutely never use it, not even once, that money isn’t wasted on things that are meaningful to you.
This is an interesting opinion that I hadn’t considered. I guess I’m of the opinion that when one buys something (especially if it costs a lot of money) then one must devote a large amount of time and energy toward that thing. Perhaps that opinion needs softening. Or changing.