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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

I Miss My Piano

My middle and high school friends don't remember me as a runner.  If they were to pick out a hobby that they remember me really enjoying, it would have been playing the piano.  I loved playing the piano.  I would say that I spent between one and three hours a day practicing.  It was theraputic and there were few things that I loved more.

I started playing piano in the fourth grade.  I took lessons at Jordan Kitts in the Annapolis Mall and my mother would often take me to Friendly's next door for ice cream after my lesson.  I learned quickly and my teacher was impressed.  We didn't own a piano at that point, so I had to practice on a Yamaha keyboard.  It was ok, I enjoyed it, but I wasn't thrilled.  I had two piano recitals during that first year, neither spectacular, but what I got out of it was the one and only photo of me that was ever taken while I was playing the piano (I'll locate it and upload it at some point).

I switched piano teachers in the fifth grade and started taking lessons from Mrs. Moede, who lived a few miles from my house.  Mrs. Moede didn't believe in piano recitals, and thought that they stressed her students out too much.  She wanted to teach children to play the piano purely for enjoyment, and not to impress others.  So, I never had another true recital. 

Then, for my eleventh birthday, my dad bought me a piano.  It came from an auction sale (like pretty much everything did at that point of my life) and he paid $150 for it, which seemed like a lot to me back then.  Thankfully, he had a construction crew who came by and moved the piano into our basement for us.  Our basement was also our living room, my house was set up kind of strangely back then.

Well, as soon as we got that piano, I was HOOKED.  I played the piano constantly, often for hours at a time.  I was one of Mrs. Moede's best students, and I took on harder and harder pieces of music.  My favorite to this day is Beethoven's "Moonlight Sonata."

Then came high school.  I still played and took lessons up until junior year, when I became secretary of the SGA, got a job at Sam Goody, and didn't have a lot of time to keep up with piano lessons.  I had become a little old for piano lessons anyway, so it was about time to quit.  The piano sat untouched.  I didn't have the time or the patience for it anymore, and I rarely played. 

In college, things got worse.  I lived at UMBC and when I wasn't there, my mom and I had moved to smaller house that was connected to another house rather than being isolated on four acres of woods.  I had to be more conscientious if I did play, and I almost never did.  I don't think that my college friends even think of me as a piano player.

When I got married, resources ran out to easily move the piano and I had to pay someone $500 to move the piano from Annapolis to Owings Mills.  Dave's mom played the piano and when he still lived at home he constantly complained about how he hated the sound her playing, so I was too shy to ever practice while he was home.  Again, we were connected to other houses and I didn't have privacy I once had.  I think I only played the piano once while I was married.

Then... the divorce.  The cost of moving the piano into my third story apartment would have been astronomical, and I would have had to have moved it out of there at some point as well (and by the time I was selling my house in Owings Mills, I was fairly certain I'd be moving to Manchester soon).  Todd promised we'd buy another piano some day.  I ended up giving my precious piano to the woman who bought my townhouse.  Presumably, she still has it and it still sits in the same spot in the living room, only a quarter mile from my work.  My music sits in a box in the basement, untouched for years now.

I miss that piano.  I had a dream last night about it.  I was in my house in the woods.  Todd was there, as well as some of my high school friends (Becky, Jessica, Johnny, Erin).  I was going to play for them, but then the piano wouldn't make any sound.  It was like the strings inside had been cut.  I was so sad, I wanted to play!  So, that dream prompted me to come here and tell the story of my piano and how it's gone.  I've thought about getting a new one, but they're expensive and a big commitment.  Going back to a keyboard would not be the same.  Sigh.


Nick said...

would you like to play the piano at AVNC VIII?

Kim said...

Well, no. I haven't practiced regularly since maybe 1995 or 96, so sitting down in front of a bunch of people without basically any practice in 12 years would be an embarrassment... Especially since, like I said, I wasn't trained to play in front of people, I was trained to just enjoy myself.

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