How not to waste your money: lesson 1

I don’t know how it came about, but when I was 8 years old, my parents bought a full-size Roland keyboard. It wasn’t really a keyboard, actually, it was more like a piano with wires, and I started lessons within weeks. I learned how to play from a reclusive 40 something who lived in a 300 year old house that always smelled of wet dog – his massive German Shepherd, Osa, took up residence in the room behind the piano, and one day my sister found a baby-sized shit in the kitchen. Despite the odd circumstances, my teacher was a virtuoso, and over the years, I followed suit. I practiced (almost) every day, doing scales until my fingers were numb, learning Motzart, Bach, and the Maple Leaf Rag. Somewhere, perhaps in the third drawer down in my parents’ coffee table, there exists a VHS cassette of me, at thirteen, cranking out a fairly spectacular rendition of the first movement of Beethoven’s Pathetique Sonata.

I was fucking awesome at the piano for awhile, is what I’m getting at.

During my junior year, I got the notion that I might want to try for a piano major at college, and switched teachers to better prepare for entrance auditions. The new teacher was not as eccentric, and I wound up instead auditioning for vocal performance and drama, and eventually, through a strange turn of events, graduating with a degree in Television, Radio, and Film production.

Just half an hour ago, my husband asked me to play something on our keyboard in the back room. “Anything”, he said, “Just, you know, play anything you know.”

All I could remember was “Heart and Soul”.

And I think I decided that my kids will play the triangle.

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