Saturday, May 16, 2009

There's a Piano on the Porch

As I drove home today I noticed a piano on the porch of a house. It was an older upright piano - one with the really high back to it. My first thought was (ever the pack rat and gatherer): are they getting rid of it? The next thought was: the humidity and wetness from rain will ruin the felts!

Then I mused whether the piano was on its way into the house or out of the house:

If it was on its way in I imagine there is some person waiting inside with a whole lot of excitement to FINALLY have a piano. And just imagine the music that will be plunked out and how the piano will love making music for a new audience!

If the piano was on its way out of the house imagine how forlorn (permit me some "fancy" here) the piano would feel - unwanted, unused. I know an inanimate object can not have real feelings, but pianos need to be used. Unless they are housed in a beautiful casing, unplayed pianos are often unappreciated. The occasional comment "Oh! What a beautiful piano! Do you play?" is answered by the usual "No - it was my grandmother's piano. The piano hasn't been tuned in years!"

Ugly pianos can make beautiful music.

Take my piano for example. At my former job the kindergarten teacher had a piano in her classroom (a sign of the times when teachers taught music or used music to teach their lessons). When she retired, the new teacher didn't want the piano so the superintendent was asked what to do with it. He said, "We'll have the guys take it out to the dumpster." AAACK! I told them I would take it. After a lengthy period of time it was finally brought to my house. Ugly from many years of little fingers touching and picking at it. It had broken keys, was never tuned, was missing a wheel - it was ugly. But I loved it! I had never had a piano save a chord organ whilst growing up and an electronic keyboard. The local piano tuner said he could replace the plastic on the keys and gave me suggestions for fixing up the wood casing. Time passed and the tuner returned with my new white keys (recovered at the Steinway factory), replaced felts, made adjustments and tuned the ugly piano. And, while it's still missing a wheel and has scratches from the many little fingers and my recent move, it makes beautiful music!

You know, there was a time in American when having a piano at home was a status symbol. If that was the case now I HAVE ARRIVED! :)

However, it was inside the home...not on the front porch.