So Why a Living Room?

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Day #6. Piano Duets with Dad.

After a great dinner tonight, my mom played out back with the boys while my Dad and I got to just hang out around the piano together, just like all those times we used to do. We pulled out a book of well-loved piano duets and sat down and played them again.

I remember playing those duets with my sister, Lindsay, and my Dad remembers the practice sounds that filled the house--the whining and grunting as well as the celebration of triumph when we finally got a certain part to sound right. We felt close to Linds tonight, as we savored the fragrance that the music brought.  Here are a few memories that brought me joy today:

*I remember a group of 4 measures in "Valencia" that I literally practiced hours and hours and hours to get just right.  I can still taste the frustration that section gave me!  Ahhhhhh!

*  There's a part where our hands actually crossed and we played several measures with my left hand in between her two hands.  As my Dad and I played, I could remember actually sitting next to her and joking about getting out of my way so I could have the B flat as soon as she was off of it.  New memories of her are such a gift. 

*I remember my piano teacher, Carolyn Shaak,  working with me on one section that has a gorgeous, almost haunting melody line.  I remember her telling me to make "white spots" on my fingernails, which means you have to press firmly enough to voice the melody and make it sing.  I made it sing tonight--and I thought of Carolyn and what an incredible teacher and person she is.

*I remember going up to Ft. Collins to compete in the state duet competition with Lindsay.  I remember the dresses we wore that day, our 80's foofy hair, and the hardwood floor of the stage where the piano was.  I remember the euphoria of winning the competition and feeling like all of those tedious hours were worth it!  (I also randomly remember that on the way home we drove in between two cars on the freeway and one was an Alaska license plate and the other was a Hawaii license plate and I felt like I was charmed.  Weird.)

 Anyway, so we had a little trip down memory lane and I realized what rich soil I had growing up, and how much I love my Dad and his love for music and his desire to give us the best musical experiences and training he possibly could.

So, happy father's day!