Tuesday, January 05, 2010


Yesterday someone caught the word "piano" in my post and wondered if I played the piano. The answer is a resounding, NO!

We have a piano. I suppose I should be able to play the piano. As I child my mother had me take organ lessons on a full pedal electric organ. I played the organ from age 8 until my first year of college and one of the reasons I chose the college I went to was because of the spectacular pipe organ in its chapel.

BUT... Once at the college and noting all the serious music majors around me and realizing that I could not read music led me to drop organ very quickly. But I did spend one semester playing the spectacular organ! (Picture from the Internet of the Lewis and Clark pipe organ)

Yes. I cannot read music. I don't know how that small skill evaded me after all my years of playing but it did. I secretly believe that music and mathematics are connected and because I can't keep track of numbers either that is why I can't understand what quarter notes and eighth notes etc. are. Anyway. I stopped playing the organ very easily and have never regretted it.

I had never played the piano at all when one summer I came back from America and found a piano in my very tiny apartment! Tetsu had bought it while I was gone! During a phone call I had mentioned that 10 month old Leiya had enjoyed a high school recital that we'd attended and Tetsu, the doting father, thought his daughter was going to be a music prodigy and bought a used piano. Except for the fact that we had to sleep under it, I didn't mind having a piano. I could pick out children's songs with one finger and Leiya liked banging on it.

When Takumi was 5 we started him on piano lessons and he actually seemed to have an aptitude for it. As he got older he played Joplin and Chopin and got to be very good. Leiya started lessons too but didn't seem to enjoy it as much as Takumi and when both kids were entering Jr. high (after years and years of lessons and yens and yens of music fees) we marked that as "graduating" from piano so that they could pursue Jr. high club activities.

Takumi spent two weeks again practicing Chopin when he was a third year Jr. high student, I suspect in order to impress his friends and teachers at school (he looked much like a gang member and he's playing Chopin?!) I think he liked the congruency of his image and his music. Once he impressed everybody he's never looked at the piano again. I'm not sure if Leiya appreciates her music background though I used to tell her if she wanted to be a kindergarten teacher, in Japan, she had to be able to play the piano. (True!)

Nowadays my piano sits unused in our living room. The cats use it as look out point and find it a good refuge area from Choco when she is in the house. I have thought about sitting down to the keyboard and practicing some hymns just because our church so desperately needs someone who can play the piano well but that would take away time from patchwork and quilting and I don't really want another hobby.

"God, I don't suppose You want to strike me with the miracle of sudden musical ability?"

I found my quilting thread. Yep. Under the piano where the cats had batted it. The piano seems to be a great place for accumulating clutter (and dust!). You'd think I could come up with a better use for a piano.

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