Thursday, February 4, 2016


I had something happen to me on Tuesday that has really upset me.

I had my piano tuned - which usually is a celebration, but somehow things did not turn out as well this time around.

After months of asking around for reputable tuners, we finally decided on a name of a man given to us by several people here in town.

We called the man well over a month ago, only to get a return call form his father ( also a piano tuner) stating that his son was away, but if we were willing to wait he would come and tune my piano.

So we waited, and then he called and said Tuesday would be the day.

Like a kid at Christmas, I was so excited.  My piano was finally going to be tuned - a very big deal for me!

My piano IS a very big deal to me - and it always has been.

This is my music journey!

When I was four years old, one of my brother's brought home a tiny little chord organ for his little sister.  I actually remember it - it was green and the cord buttons were black and white ( the black buttons being for the sharp and flat chords, I imagine).
To hear my family tell it - my chord organ and I were inseparable.   That little instrument started my life-long passion to music.

As I gained a few years all I wanted was a real piano.  My parents weren't rich, in fact with  five children at home, as well as foster children to raise, I am sure they were quite strapped.  So my parents arranged for me to start piano lessons with the man across the street who was a choir director at a local church - and I practiced my lessons at another neighbour's home on their piano every day after school.

That arrangement lasted for a year or so... I don't know if I was constantly nagging for my own piano ( I am sure I was) or if my parents saw something in me that made them believe that investing in music lessons would be a good move  - but a year later there was a beautiful piano sitting in our living room, and I had started studying with a French instructor who was a Professor of Music at the University of Manitoba who taught from the Royal Conservatory of Music.

I never looked back.  I studied with her for nine years, and I credit her for giving me so much more than the ability to play the piano.

She was the kind of teacher that inspired one to love music - all music.   She often took me to the University to listen to concerts performed by students, on many instruments other than the piano... concerts of performances of Classical music from all the great composers... I was a sponge, and I think she realized that the piano was just going to be the beginning for me.

I was the kid on the block that went home after school and sat at the piano and practiced for an hour every day - without being asked to.  I was the kid on the street, who declined the opportunity to go to the YWCA to swim, because I'd rather learn a new piece of music from a newly acquired book.

As I grew older I became more involved in music all the time.  I studied the Cello ( my second love) and played in orchestras for six years during my junior and senior high school years.  I took voice lessons, and sang in choirs in church, high school, and joined a troupe of singers and entertainers who performed in plays and "showboats" all over my city.  I  also performed as a soloist for many years.

From the first time, I sat as a very young girl in the concert hall at the University, watching and listening to students perform, all I ever dreamed of becoming was a music teacher - even a professor like my own teacher.
I ended up making a different choice in careers - but throughout my life I have always wondered where life would have taken me, had I chosen music as my career.

Music, and my ability to perform it or to sing it, has been a very important part of my life - all my life, and the piano has stayed a major force of who I am since I was 4 yrs old.

I no longer have the piano my parents bought me, in fact there were a few years when I did not even own a piano but I always had some sort of keyboard to play on - even though the real deal was missing.

About 16 years ago, Gary was working at a clients home, and came back home one evening and all he could talk about was the beautiful old piano they had sitting in their basement.  I asked him who played it, and when he said no one played it - I asked him to inquire if it was for sale.  A few weeks later it was delivered to my home.

I didn't see the piano prior to Gary buying it and having it delivered to our home - which in itself is rather strange, I admit... I can't even remember why I didn't go and see it first - as I would be the only one playing it  - but there it was sitting in my living room - and I had such an overwhelming feeling that I had played this instrument many many times before...


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