Meanwhile, while all that dancing was going on, I was taking weekly piano lessons. When we moved into our big home in 1955, there was a large upright piano in the living room. It stayed and I began taking piano lessons. I walked down the road for about 20 minutes to the home of Mrs. Pipes and learned music.
She was much more serious about music than I was, but no one ever asked me if I wanted to play the piano, so I dutifully went week after week. I practiced half-heartedly for the first few years, struggling through such uninspiring tunes as “Here We Go, Up a Row, To the Birthday Party.” I had to practice scales, and she taught me memory tricks such as the title of this post to remember the names of the notes. That phrase was for the treble lines. The bass lines were “Good Boys Do Fine Always,” and the white keys were FACE.
I did learn to play the piano enough to enjoy tunes from Rodgers and Hammerstein and Gilbert and Sullivan. I also mastered enough Christmas carols to be able to play them in subsequent years. But mainly the piano followed me from home to home, usually being used to display pictures on its top.
But, to my delight, my granddaughter is quite good on the piano, and a couple of years ago the upright made its way to her home where she practices on a regular schedule because she wants to get better. I went to her first recital last summer, and she actually plays with a sure hand which I never accomplished.
As for me, I stick to recorded music of musicians who have talent and drive, neither of which I brought to that poor piano. I am sure it is grateful that someone is appreciating it after all these years.