By the time I was big enough to sit at the old upright piano in my aunt’s parlor, I wanted someone to give me piano lessons. Just gliding my fingers over the smooth keys and pretending to pick out "Chopsticks" was not enough. Though I couldn’t see it then, the day my dad hauled that huge piano in the farm truck to our house was the beginning of creating a long legacy of music education to three generations and beyond.
I now have seven children and six grandchildren. My oldest daughter began piano lessons when she was in pigtails in elementary school. We traveled back and forth to South America, but always managed to locate, babysit or rent someone’s used pianos. When we finally settled down, I decided to make a once-in-a-lifetime purchase of a brand new piano. Violins, trumpets, cornets, shofars and French horns were already blazing in our home, but I knew we needed a piano that would endure for decades. I wanted to instill into my kids the longing, the wonder of making ethereal music on earth.
I looked for a piano that would fit our family. Over the years, I had seen a lot of pianos. I had moved pianos up two flights of stairs and around tight corners and back down again. Finally I found a high quality upright piano for sale, with excellent sound and good wood. This time I would sit back and watch the piano movers skillfully direct that music machine onto our porch and through a tiny doorway and set it carefully in its hallowed place.
On that new piano bench our oldest daughter would perch the younger siblings to begin their piano lessons. Soon five kids were all learning piano theory and practice, the oldest two from masters and the youngest three from their big sisters. Both teenage daughters started teaching our friends’ kids piano lessons in our home using that new piano.
The fun really began when our seven kids would gather around the piano with all their instruments and jam. We held small Christmas concerts and neighborhood music festivals in our open living room. Today the eldest daughter teaches piano lessons in her home to many kids and hosts recitals that thrill the parents. When our kids and grandkids come home for the holidays, they trickle one-by-one into the living room where the old family piano waits, and they fill the air with music.