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Your first piano

Discussion in 'The Piano' started by pianolady, Jan 9, 2011.

  1. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    I just learned that the first piano I started playing on is 100 years old this year! Happy Birthday, piano! :)
    It's a Sohmer grand and is still in my parents house today. My father refinished the cabinetry once, and it's had some work done on the insides, as would be expected. Today, it does not sound that good and really needs another total over-haul. Which is why when my parents offered it to me a while back, I declined and bought my new Yamaha instead. Still, that old piano is like a member of my family and whenever I go and visit my folks at their home, the first thing I do is go and sit down at the piano and play a little something.

    Anyone else have anything to say about your 'first piano'?
     
  2. Rachfan

    Rachfan Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Monica,

    Oh, the memory! Or maybe I should say, Woe, the memory!!! When I was 5 or 6, I used to tinker a little with my paternal grandparents' upright. When I turned 7 I was hit with a brief illness that caused a high fever. My mother said that I must have been delirious because I kept repeating that if I had a piano I could play it. Well, the next day my mother called her mother who insisted that my parents fetch a piano for me straight away. :) One day it arrived. It was a 19th century Chickering square grand. :( I hated it! :evil: The touch was extremely light and the tone was forte-piano-ish. The tuner was quite elderly, and when a repair was needed on this piano, in fixing one part, another would inevitably break. He would visibly start to shake. He very soon retired, as I believe this Chickering gave him a nervous condition. Without the tuner I tuned the Chickering myself using a combination of a roller-skate key and a screwdriver for leverage to turn the key on the pins. (In those days one had to be resourceful.) As it turned out, the piano was actually on loan with the understanding that if the owner wanted it back, we'd have to relinquish it. Well, she recalled the piano and I thought "Halleluja!!!" What came next into the living room was a 1923 Ivers & Pond baby grand which I had tried out first. It didn't have an exciting tone, but at least it was affordable and serviceable and got me through years of lessons until I left for university. In my 30s I bought an old 1924 Steinway M and in 1984 traded the Steinway against a new Baldwin L which I still play.

    P.S. The old Ivers & Pond baby grand still exists in Massachusetts. It's in my parents last home, now vacant except for the piano and bench. No doubt it's lonely, but it needs a LOT of work. If anyone would like to have it, just send a PM to me.

    David
     
  3. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Nice story, David. Thanks! That part about the shaking piano tuner with the nervous condition is really funny! :lol:

    Do you happen to have any old photos with you as a youngster and your piano? I think it would be a lot of fun to see some our 'regulars' as a child. I'm going to go scrounge around right now and see if I can one of my old piano....
     
  4. Rachfan

    Rachfan Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Monica,

    Alas, I don't have any photos of me as a child with the ancient Chickering. My parents were never much into photography back then, although the prevailing camera in that era was the Kodak Brownie camera, which was just point and click. That was also in the days black and white film. So it would have been easy enough, but... no pics. :(

    David
     
  5. hyenal

    hyenal New Member Piano Society Artist

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    My first piano was a brand-new black and tall upright piano by YoungChang which my grandma bought me as I was 4 years old. She was never a musical person, so I guess she just made a call to a piano store and ordered anything available in the price-range she wanted :lol: I was her first grandchild, so she probably wanted to show her love to me through it. BTW I started getting lessons in the following year, because my parents thought I was too young to start that, as I got the piano.
    I don't know any more how it sounded or was felt, but it accompanied me nearly ten years. I do have a photo of me putting the hands on its keyboard, but unfortunately not here. If I go back to Korea, I could scan it and upload it :D
     
  6. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Yes, I hope you can do that, Hye-Jin. I wasn't going to be the first to put up my photo, but okay - twist my arm - here is one. I was three years old and that is my first piano.
     
  7. hyenal

    hyenal New Member Piano Society Artist

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    So adorable!!!!!! :D Thanks for sharing!
     
  8. Rachfan

    Rachfan Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    That's our Monica for sure with her Sohmer grand. Her feet didn't reach the pedals! Hmmm... she probably picked out pieces that were either non-legato or staccato! :lol:
     
  9. hyenal

    hyenal New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Look at those cute feet!!! And what does she have in her LH? A storybook? I like this pic so much :D
     
  10. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    haha, David. Yes, it took a long time for my feet to reach the pedals :!: :lol:

    Hye-Jin, that's a birthday card I am holding. :)
     
  11. Radar

    Radar New Member

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    I started piano lessons at 8 on an old Rochester Upright, made in East Rochester NY at what is now the Pianoworks Mall, alas no pianos have been built there in many many decades. The piano is long gone from our family but I remember it fondly.

    Ray
     
  12. StephenC

    StephenC New Member

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    My parents bought a 1990 Yamaha P22 back then for me and my older sister, if I could remember it correctly I was 7 years old and my sister was 13 years old. The piano is also long gone but I could remember how our piano teacher would motivate us every lesson that learning piano is really fun. Oh memories.
     

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