When I was a little girl, the big house (that we later made our home for 30+ years) had a surprise for us in the basement. The former owners had left their old upright piano. I was delighted, because whenever we would visit friends and relatives with a piano, I’d immediately sit down and try to make a pretty melody. I wasn’t one of those kids that banged mercilessly on the keys (that came later when I started lessons as a teenager – ha!). It didn’t matter to me that most of the keys had their ivory tops off. The wooden keys with a little bit of dried glue from the old ivory still begged to be played.
And played, I did. However, by the time I started piano lessons, the basement was fixed up into an apartment that college kids (or student teachers)rented from us. The renters were not real amiable about letting some kid practice on the piano that was in their dwelling place. At the time, since I was a pretty good player, I couldn’t understand why my music would bother them, especially since it was after school and no one was taking a nap. Now, however, I know. When I am writing, reading or studying nowadays, I turn off all music in the house. The music itself may be soothing or jiving, but it’s hard for me to concentrate when music is playing. I either want to sing along if there’s lyrics, or dance, or both! Even the Irish musician and singer, Enya (who I just adore!) has to be shunned when I am in concentrate mode!
Back to the piano ~~ I taught myself how to play it by using the fingering given in the piano books that were also left with the piano. Fortunately for me, the songs were written in the C scale, so I was playing what I was supposed to be playing. Then, a couple of months after I started lessons at 13, my parents presented me with a brand new piano – – in our living room. The only problem was, now that I wasn’t bugging the renters downstairs by playing all the time, I was bugging my family. I was on the piano for two or more hours a day – – this was not a case of a parent forcing their child to practice. No — I had to be pulled off the piano bench! It didn’t take me long to figure out that if I practiced right after school every day, my music would not conflict with the 6:00 news on TV or sitcoms later in the evening.
1. It was definitely recycled, because the owners didn’t throw it out. (And they probably didn’t want to hire a piano mover, either, so that’s why it stayed right there!)
2. The piano was definitely reused. I even used the old piano books over and over and over again.
3. The piano was not repurposed. The renters did not use it as a hamper for their dirty clothes; its purpose — to provide music and enjoyment — still existed.
I wonder if the people who ended up buying our house all those years later left the piano in the basement, just like we had — or did they actually get rid of it? It’s wonderful food for thought in thinking about my dear old, inanimate companion.
- Students learn to repurpose, reuse, recycle (wlwt.com)
- What NOT to Recycle (auntiekate.wordpress.com)
- Chopin and Piano (msjaimesmusicstudio.com)
- Public Piano Project Coming To City Streets (boston.cbslocal.com)
- The redemption of the Piano (heroeensilencio.wordpress.com)
- Piano Donation! (ichsap.wordpress.com)