The Harbinger Online

Blog: The Piano Exchanges

Yes, I play piano. Yes, I have taken piano for about nine years. Surprised? You should be; not many people know that I have taken piano lessons for that long. Every Saturday for the past eight and half years I have woken up at nine in morning and gone to a little old lady’s house to practice piano for half an hour. Afterwards, one of my family members or I would mow her lawn. It was an even trade: lessons for lawn mowing.

You would think that after nine years of weekly piano lesson I would be a concert pianist, but I’m not. For example; the piano book that I am playing says “first grade” on it. My teacher, KT, just hasn’t ever forced it on me. She just let me learn at my own pace. I have gained a lot more than just becoming a remedial piano player, I have gained a friendship.

KT, the little old lady that teaches me piano has become a close family friend, teaching piano to my sister, my brother and me for more over ten years. You really get to know a person that you converse with them weekly. Every week is the same; I’ll walk into her house, yell “Knock Knock” and she will appear from the hallway. I’ll start talking to her about how her week went or some current event as I sit at her baby grand piano. I never had a real love for piano, probably why I am still playing from the first grade book, so I strike up a conversation to distract her from the from the actual lesson. She loves tennis so I might ask her about the most current tennis match and we will talk for a little while about Rodger Federer and Jack Sock.

Finally, we’ll get to the lesson. I will go through the usual warm up and the four songs that I have been playing for the last eight lessons. Then, after we are done, I would mow her lawn; she might ask me to pick up some leaves or sweep off the drive way. After I’m finished, I would go home and not touch my piano books until the next Saturday.

This has gotten a little repetitive and I’m not going anywhere with my piano career so this last month I tried to quit piano. I had gone into my last lesson telling myself that i was going to quit. At this point I was just wasting KT’s and my own time. So I went in there and my mom and I told her that this would be my last lesson. She took this with a little hesitation.

So I went through the normal routine, playing my warm up and my songs. This time, something was different, I played everything perfectly did not miss a note. I was amazed. KT was amazed. So my last lesson, and maybe my best lesson yet, comes to an end and KT looks down at me and says “Tell me you can quit piano now.” I couldn’t say it. I couldn’t say I wanted to quit. So I told her I would think about it and get back to her.

I never wanted to quit, I just knew that one day it would come to an end. But, now that it was the end I couldn’t do it. My sister, my brother and I have taken lessons from this wonderful lady for longer than a decade and now I was just suppose to say goodbye. It had been a week without an answer or a lawn mow. So I went over to her house mowed her lawn and talked to her. I said “I can’t give you or piano the time or attention you deserve…”. I let her know that I still want to mow her lawn for her and that we would still talk about Tennis or the biggest news story from that week. I knew that quitting piano was the right thing to do, but I didn’t know it was going to be that hard.

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Jake Crandall

Jake is the Print Photo Editor. This is his third year on staff. His inspiration for being a photographer is Peter Parker (Spiderman). Read Full »

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