For years, my Nana’s piano lived in our family room. It is a beast of a piano, an Ivers & Pond manufactured in the early 1930s. I will never forget the day my Dad, my brother and Greg moved it into our house. It was all they could do to move it up the three steps of our front walkway. We settled on the living room because it was just feet from the front door!
This piano was lovingly played by my Nana for years and years. I have memories of it, but sadly, not so many of her playing. I even have a great picture of me with my brother, sister and my cousins all lined up on the bench banging away. Over the years we have been known to say “if Nan could see this....” or “Nan would be so happy....” and I believe in my heart that my Nana can see her piano being played and that she is so happy up in heaven to see that this is her legacy for my children.
It was not easy when the time came to consider a replacement piano. We visited Steinway, not so much to purchase but to research and educate ourselves on what to consider when piano shopping. The girls played a wide range of baby grands and ultimately their favorite was an upright very similar to ours with a very similar soundboard. Greg and I left wondering why we would replace our piano, which has a lovely deep, rich, tone, for another that cost $30,000 on SALE!
After our visit to Steinway the girls were inspired. Sometimes a little trip like this gets their creative juices flowing and Grace wanted to play her favorite piece, Waterfall, the same way she could play it on a Steinway. Only she couldn’t. Not really anyway. Our early 1900s piano can no longer keep up with the quick touch and repeats that the more complex pieces require. Her fingers kept getting “stuck”. Even Lilah noticed it with her songs, but her love of our old piano and her preference for slower, quieter songs, made this not as big an issue for her.
We were once again back to this issue of what to do for a replacement piano..... We really wanted to try a Yamaha as this is the piano the girls play for their recital and The Piano Guys play a Yamaha, so they must be good! After visiting a piano showroom three times for a total of 6 hours, we decided on a piano that not only would allow the girls to play the music to their ability, but a piano they could fall in love with and love just as deeply and richly as they love my Nana’s piano.
I made a promise to Lilah that we would not get rid of the old piano, not that we ever would. My mother would take it and although she does not play, it is a family heirloom and she has the space for it. For now we moved the piano back into its original space, by the front door, in front of the staircase. It is not played often, but every now and then, when the girls walk by, one of them will sit and play, just to let it know it is loved and appreciated.