Updated: Sep 21, 2019
What does a freezer have to do with piano chords you ask?
I opened my freezer the other day and with dismay discovered it had died and the contents had melted. I signed on to Craigslist and a freezer the exact size I needed had just been listed. I called the lady selling it, went to see it and bought it.
The lady selling the freezer was amazing! She was 90. A vibrant, healthy 90. She was leaving her home of 48 years and downsizing to a condo (still independent!). In her living room was a beautiful walnut-coloured spinet. I asked her if she played her piano and she said, “not anymore, I’m giving it to my daughter”. You see, she had taken up the piano when she retired in her 60's but became bored with it and gave it up. What she said next was the most interesting, “ I hear that now-a-days they teach you the songs you grew up with, songs that are familiar to you. In my day they didn't do that and I couldn't relate to the music I was learning”.
What she wanted to do was sit at her piano and play familiar tunes and reminisce about happy times. Isn't this what playing piano chords is all about? Yes! It doesn't take months to learn a song and you can play it the way you remember it. Did I tell her not to give away her piano and sign up for piano chord lessons? Well her move was in motion and she didn't need a monkey-wrench thrown into her life BUT I did mention that once she was settled in her new home, if she still had her piano dream, to call me and she could happily play the songs she wanted to in her new condo on a digital piano with headphones. She gave me a sparkly smile like she just may think about that.
Students – keep your enthusiasm for the piano alive by including songs you LOVE, LOVE, LOVE into your daily playing. Teachers – it’s great to teach good technique and expand a student’s knowledge of the piano literature, but are all your adult students playing something that is dear to them? If so, Bravo! If not… you know what to do!
By the way, the freezer lady's daughter had taken piano lessons to grade 10 as a child but never played any more. She was reluctantly taking the piano. Hopefully she will contact a teacher in the area she lives, discover piano chords and enter retirement playing the songs she loves with her grandchildren singing along. Hopefully you will be the teacher that get's her :-)