Holiday Tour of the Family Pianos

As we finish up 2018, I have a bit of reflection to share, as well as footage from my recent "tour of the family pianos." 

First, the reflection: I have been feeling deeply grateful for the people in my life (like you!) who listen to me. To me there is no greater way to show love than to listen, because it endows a person with value. Listening says implicitly, "you matter to me," and we all need to feel that we matter. It seems, however, that listening is not a simple task for many of us. It can be so difficult to listen, especially when encountering someone we do not agree with. My hope for the new year is that we all can learn to listen better. 

Now for the tour: Each time we visit our family in Ohio I come into contact with no less than four pianos, all of which sit untouched for the majority of the year. I'm essentially the only pianist in the family and so the poor pianos only get played a few times a year! This Christmas visit I decided to document my "tour of the family pianos." 

#1 The Theis Piano "O Christmas Tree"
I convinced my sister-in-law, Kayla, to learn a duet with me after our family Christmas meal. Kayla now works as a high school English teacher and she couldn’t remember the last time she had played the piano. She did pretty great, especially considering we only practiced for a few minutes before Mike came over with the camera!

#2 Mary’s Piano "O Come All Ye Faithful/ For Unto Us"
When my aunt and uncle moved from Ohio to Florida a few years ago, they were looking for a home for their upright piano until my cousin Mary finished med school and has space for it. I volunteered to take it (twist my arm), but then when Mike and I moved to New York it ended up at my always generous mother’s house. She now has not one, but two pianos on the main floor of her house, neither of which get any use unless I am home.
I love this mashup arrangement of O Come All Ye Faithful/ For Unto Us. It’s from one of my grandma’s old books I found.

#3 My First Piano "The First Noel"
When I was 8 years old I asked my parents for piano lessons. Neither of them played and so we did not have a piano in the house. But they agreed, found a neighborhood piano teacher (shout out to Edie Zimmerman, who is still a wonderful friend of my mother’s), and purchased this piano for me to practice on. It is hard to believe that was almost 20 years ago! What a profound gift that was. Also, please forgive the cheesy zoom in on the carolers. I just think they are so cute, and it warms my heart to see them on the piano each Christmas!!

#4 Grandma’s Piano "Pomp & Circumstance" for Mike
This beautiful baby grand was purchased by my late Grandma, Carol, when she decided to take up the piano at age 55. Coincidentally, my mother also took up a new hobby (running) at age 55. It's never too late to start something new!

This excerpt of Elgar Schmidt’s beautiful march, Pomp & Circumstance, is in honor of my husband, Mike. After working very hard for the past couple of years, he graduated with his MBA from Xavier University this semester! Xavier doesn’t hold a winter commencement, and so there was no formal recognition of his accomplishment. I tried unsuccessfully to get him to wear a cap and have a mini ceremony of our own, but he did let me humor him with this little song :)

Thank you for listening. Happy New Year!


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