Friday, April 12, 2013

Focusing on Life :: Aged Beauty

This week's challenge for Focusing on Life was to look for aged beauty in our lives and something that holds a deeper meaning.

Lots of things in the house could be called 'aged,' myself included. But few hold as much meaning as the hours spent at my piano. It is a loved piece, and something that feels like home to me. 

I started playing the piano at age 5. I am by no means a concert pianist, but I can play. And it is less about my mastery of the piano and more about what it has taught me. 

It is the same things I want to teach my children. First and foremost there is a love of music. Nothing soothes the soul quite like music. We play a lot of music in the house. It has a way of bringing us together. 

Learning to play an instrument also gave me a love of many types of music. I studied classical piano, but then begged to play ragtime, then contemporary. Nothing like a 10 year old banging out the music of star wars on the piano. My kids now have an appreciation not only for what is popular with all their friends, but of rock, jazz, blues, classical... we play it all at our house.

There are other things that learning an instrument teaches. It teaches discipline. And that you can't expect to always be able to pick up a task on the first try. Practice is an important part of learning, and something that has been a more difficult thing for my kids to learn. But both have decided to play instruments, and both have grown to understand this notion of practice and a bit of 'stick-to-it-iveness' that I think helps in life.

My piano isn't a fancy one. But then neither am I. It's got a few dings here and there, but then I've had it since my childhood. It has been with me on a long journey. It has been with me in Oregon, California and now Connecticut. It is like an old friend that has aged beautifully. When I sit down to play, it just all comes back to me. It is the comfort of home.

29 comments:

Plowing Through Life (Martha) said...

What a beautiful, poetic post. Yes, first there is the love of music, or anything that brings you joy, before you can commit yourself to it. Without the love and passion, it simply becomes a chore.

Your piano is beautiful...a constant companion...

Beti Horvath said...

Lovely pictures and comments about your musical friend.

LoriF said...

Wonderful post, Cynthia! I qualify in that "aged" group too, probably much more than you do! I love that you've been able to keep your piano with you through your moves, that's quite a feat.

Mary K. McGraw said...

My love of music began with me playing the violin for 5 years, from 5th grade through 9th grade. I agree with you about practice. I think it is a great teacher.

glassbead, isinglass design said...

Love the pictures of the piano and what it teaches! Amazing that you've moved it all around the country.

Patty Woodland said...

Aaaah, such a skill to have. And such a gift to give.

thewovenspoke said...

What a beautiful piano and wonderful memories you have. Thanks for sharing.

Alicia said...

Beautiful post, Cynthia! I completely understand your love of music and your wish to instill it in the children. Indeed music is extremely important to a child's education - if it can be paired with learning an instrument, it's even better :) You're absolutely right about the many things learning an instrument teaches you - I can add another one: driving better. I learned to play piano almost at the same time I learned to drive... and it made me a better driver (down to the soft touch of the pedal :))

The Cabby Crafter said...

I am with you, Cynthia. Im a pianist too and though our piano wasn't fancy, it was surrounded with wonderful voices and fun times.

Debi said...

Nice story about your piano and your children. I remember wanting to learn as a child but never had the chance. How special for you to be able to pass the love of music, through learning piano, to them!

Claire said...

what a treasured piece! i never knew Wurlitzers made pianos - i've only ever seen the grand theatre organs, that came up out of the stage... it's a priceless skill, playing an instrument, which you rightly treasure - a lovely post :)
no. 21

Duni said...

I just loved reading about your relationship with the piano! I admire that you have never stopped playing...I love my piano also, but it has been in storage on the other side of the world for many years now. My great uncle was a concert pianist and performed in Opera houses across Europe :)

Islandgirl said...

I have an old upright grand piano... but for some reason it never crossed my mind as a suitable subject.. even thought it's been dragged accross Canada... and has a room named after it! WOnderful blog! I took piano lessons from an entirely nasty lady which may be why my love of playing isn't there! HOwever I often think I should dust it off and try to play!

BIKBIK AND RORO said...

Such a thoughtful, tender post. I play for pleasure now; it's different when you don't have to be stressing over piano exams and theory (I hated theory!!). Your piano is beautiful :)

Courtney said...

I love your posts! I love that you all play and appreciate all types of music. Love the Wurlitzer shot. :)

Karen Mitchell said...

Love looking at an old piano especially one so lovingly taken care of like yours. My eldest is studying Musicology for her Bachelor of Music so music of all types is a hot topic in our house. Replace Star Wars with Harry Potter here though :)

Shel said...

What a lovely post Cynthia - it's speaks volumes! And your photos are perfect. They make me want to sit right down and listen to you belt out the blues, jazz and some of that ragtime you spoke of!! :-)

Therese's Treasures said...

Hi Cynthia,
This a a beautiful old piano and one that will be passed down with love to a daughter one day.
Therese

Janet Bocciardi said...

Beautiful piano! I wish I'd had exposure to a piano as a child. My Grandparents had one, but we were never allowed to play on it. I love when friends play the piano when we visit them!

N Valentine Studio said...

Isn't it nice to have something that's been in your life for so long. I love hearing kids play, they have such a sense of freedom adults often don't have.

Karen Williams said...

I'm always envious of people who learned to play instruments while growing up. I think you're right that it gives you a much more grounded, well-rounded knowledge of music.
I think it's so cool that you still have the piano from your childhood, and that's it's still in active use by you and your family. What a wonderful treasure and legacy!

Donna said...

Fabulous post....love your story about the whole piano/music/family thing.

Magic Love Crow said...

Your piano is beautiful! I played too, when I was younger, but it just wasn't something that I caught on to.

Memories for Life said...

We had a baby grand when I was growing up. I learned to play as a child, but have long forgotten those skills.
My mom still has our old organ and loves to play :)

Christine Altmiller said...

beautiful post. the piano and the music it brings is centering and warm, to you and the whole family. my mom played and it was nice but when she pulled out the ragtime sheet music~that is when i would yell to her to play MORE!!! it seems that the objects we cherish are the things that are not the best of the best or shiny and perfect, but those that are worn and aged and hold the stories we like to remember.

Miss Val's Creations said...

Beautiful post Cynthia! I adore classical music. The piano and the violin are my favorite instruments to listen to. I wish I learned an instrument starting at a young age but was into sports instead. I love that you can sit down at your piano and play! It must be a great stress reliever in addition to so many other benefits!

Annette said...

I always wanted to learn how to play the piano. Your love for it comes through in this post!

Additionsstyle said...

What a wonderful way to have family time, enjoying music together. I must be nice to be able to sit down and play beautiful music and let your mind drift to happy thoughts. Great post.
Valerie
Everyday Inspired

Kristen said...

So true, i played as a child and got back into it last year; it really soothes my soul. I ran across your fab blog & am now following, follow me too if you wish:

http://whosyourdowdy.blogspot.com/
xo

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