Perfect Moment Monday: On the piano bench

Tessa has taught herself  Heart and Soul on the piano, and we’ll often play it as a duet (“often” as in a bazillion times a day).

The other night she asked me to play her a different song, so I pulled out my sheet music from Edvard Grieg’s Wedding Day at Troldhaugen, which I labored over while I was in high school — the peak of my piano talent.

In moments like this, I am reminded how much I used to love the world of arpeggios and key signatures and smallish busts of old composers with weird hair. Music — piano and flute — was so important to my sense of self when I was Tessa’s age.

Let’s say there have been a few years of skill atrophy. This is how Wedding Day is supposed to sound. I did a respectable job playing it for Tessa, but I have been capable of so much more.

No matter. The song lasts longer than Tessa’s usual attention span, and she surprises me by not stopping to move onto something else. When we get to a particularly difficult part — the page filled with flyspecks (as Roger says of written music) and the sounds you hear at 1:30 — Tessa looks up at me with pure admiration and love in her eyes, as if I am Edvard Grieg himself, reincarnated as her mom.

Seeing myself through her wondrous eyes was pitch perfect.

Music can change the world because it can change people. — Bono


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9 thoughts on “Perfect Moment Monday: On the piano bench”

  1. Heart and Soul was very popular around our house. I play for my girl sometimes – she loves that I can play some of her favorite songs (London Bridge). I can’t wait for her to be old enough to start piano lessons…

    Playing piano is quite an impressive techincal skill, if you do it well or if you’re rusty. So Tessa is righfully in awe!

  2. I took dance lessons and clarinet (I really wish i knew how to play piano) so this really spoke to me, I think it’s wonderful that you can share this with Tessa and it speaks to the HEART of you.

    I know that Jacob LOOOOOVES music and I am doing all I can to make sure that he starts lessons soon and gets to share all the happiness it brings him with us.

    this post made me smile…thanks for that today. 🙂

  3. What a beautiful moment, Lori. And it’s so aweseme that you share the love of music with your daughter. My youngest used to take piano lessons and loved it.

  4. Oh I love this post. I took piano lessons for years and I am so rusty now. I can’t tell you the list time I touched the lovely ivory keys on my piano.

    How beautiful that Tessa’s attention was held for so long and that she has a new admiration for you.


  5. Sorry I didn’t get here to read and comment sooner today. Just one of those days where I kept getting distracted and interrupted. I think I started typing this comment at least a 1/2 hour ago and kept getting pulled away. 🙂

    Great post Lori! This part of your post really resonated with me:

    “Music — piano and flute — was so important to my sense of self when I was Tessa’s age.”

    As you said in your comment on my Gatekeeping post the other day, it seems like piano was to you in your youth, what dancing was for me. I think it is so important for everyone, especially children and teenagers, to have a creative outlet/way they can express themselves. I agree it does so much four our sense of selves and is so healthy all around.

    Anyway, I love those moments when our children look at like at us like that, so engaged and impressed. They are truly perfect moments to experience and help give us some validation and adult sense of self in between the more difficult and uncomfortable parenting moments. So glad you shared this special with Tessa and shared it with us here. 🙂

  6. What a great moment! Music is such a wonderful thing. And to respond to your quote by Bono, here’s one from Leonard Bernstein that I just love:
    “This will be our reply to violence:
    to make music more intensely,
    more beautifully, more devotedly
    than ever before.”

  7. My piano skills — once at the Grade 7 Royal Conservatory level — have also atrophied atrociously. :p (I played a Grieg piece for one of my exams once!)

    But I can still do “Heart & Soul.” ; ) If/when we ever meet up, we’ll have to find a piano & do a duet. ; )

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