When the offspring were about ages six to eight years old, it was decided by Random Mother that they should start with music lessons because of the raw sponge moment of their brains. And so began the process of looking for a piano, a tuner, and a teacher. At this time, Random Mother was often swirling amongst the unharnessed energy of two boys. As soon as the car door opened, a wriggling cluster of energy careened into a piano store with thirteen X 97 white shining keys to touch and funny outrigger pedal paws on the bottoms. Usually, very crusty, starchy people in the piano stores with their disapproving eyes let us know how riotous and impossible we were becoming and sent us away. Until .... we found the Piano Man who would let us touch anything and everything in the shop, including insides. A Ukranian immigrant, named Oleg, who had raised four sons, he understood our chaos and laughed. One day, he turned on two or three player pianos at the same time for us. And laughed.
The video below is a shortened impromptu interview with the man. It doesn't do justice to the feel of the door, the look of the shop or ceiling. Dozens of upended piano guts at every angle and every shade of wood finish and every level of decay and beautification.Rags and cans and tools all about the patient someday-to-be-restored instrument characters. Old quality brands with faded gold lettering embedded in the wood. Having a small house, we ended up with a "mini piano" made for apartments in New York City in the 1930's. For delivery, The Piano Man, who is about five feet two, arrived with his son in a sturdy coffee ice cream colored 1980's van. They pushed the instrument uphill and up three steps and around a tight corner. Strong nimble hands sent slices of music vibrating through the floorboards of our home.
The first piano teacher was a giant willowy woman with pointy thoughts that did not inspire. Nonetheless, in the third week, our eldest learned Ode to Joy and exploded the theme into a set of jazzish variations. The the second piano teacher farted frequently. The youngest offspring and I nearly had hernias and a beet red face contest while trying not to laugh audibly in the waiting area. One day during the piano lesson, the eldest saw out the window of the teacher's house a boy with longish hair cruise by on a skateboard. That was the beginning of the end of studying piano. But then came the guitar: http://www.population5.com
Artistic Thought of the Day: "THE SOONER YOU MAKE YOUR FIRST FIVE THOUSAND MISTAKES, THE SOONER YOU WILL BE ABLE TO CORRECT THEM" from Kimon Nicolaides, The Natural Way to Draw