Sunday, September 5, 2010

How I Became A Pianist

On my birthday-July 11, 1940 - I woke up to a tiny "toy" piano at the foot of my bed. It had no more than a two octave compass, but with real keys, black & white-It was quite GRAND-I was enchanted to find that when you touched a key it made the music of a single tone. Touch the next key, you were on the infinite highway of music, going, it seemed to me, into another world. My Grandmother taught me that with just 3 keys I could play the opening of Paderewski's famous Minuet (my favorite Victrola recording) I played those three keys (D-C-B) in the pattern I had heard so often (D-D-C-D-C-B-C=B-B) and heard the same tune as came out of the Victrola. It was love. At that moment, I became a pianist.


  1. Wayne,
    Your story reminds of Schroeder from "Peanuts." Only he never seemed to grow out of the toy piano. Oh wait, he never grew up, did he?

    My story isn't all the exciting. What I remember is sitting under the upright piano we had when my mother practiced and feeling right at home there. At the time I was about 3 or 4 years old. We moved to San Francisco about that time and I distinctly remember telling my mother, when she started looking for a new piano teacher, that I too needed one. There was no question in my mind! At my first lesson I remember lugging a big Walt Disney songbook with me, opening up to the "Mickey Mouse Club Song" and saying to the teacher, "I want to learn that today."

    The day I could finally play it was a momentous day!

    So there's my story. Thanks for asking.

    - Erica

  2. Erica -
    You constantly amaze me with your accomplishments in the midst of all that you balance (family and..well, you are more faniliar with the content of your own "plate" than anyone else could be LOL) - your productivity, your spirit in meeting new challenges, the list goes on.
    The word "inspiring" is overused but in your case it is an exact fit.
    Thank you Erica, for your presence.