My Piano

By John Paul Jarvis

Board and boat sailor, tennis player, terrible musician all tempered by eclectic friends – provides a basis for views and opinions on a broad range of topics.  Humor prevails.


I decided later in life that I wanted to learn to play the piano.


Having played a passable classical guitar for decades, although self taught, it deepened my appreciation of all things musical. Reading music – this step to playing the piano seemed somewhat logical, even if I was bereft of talent.


Never having done anything in small measures, I spoke to a friend who manages properties for the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto and casually asked about the resale of the instruments from this august institution.  “When do you want one,” was his jaded response.


Once I undertake a project, sleep is not an option until completion.  So this was my pace.


My friend suggested I visit one of the RCM facilities to look at some likely candidates and never having owned a grand, began what for most should be a long procedure.  Knowing that pianos are mostly shiny and black, the deciding factor between the two

finalists was: the feature of two positions for the lid. I like convertibles.


I settled on a 37 year old Yamaha G2, a studio grand as opposed to the much larger concert.  Still over 6 feet long. Decision made, I informed my friend who regretfully explained that tax had to be charged but graciously indicated he “would do the move for free”.


I watched the delivery truck with uniformed crew resplendent in bow ties arrive inquiring, “which door?”  I suggested that backing onto the lawn would shorten the travel and the crew leader stepped through the front entrance and looked into the living room for positioning.  I shook my head and pointed upstairs.  A show stopper.


He said, “It won’t fit.”  I said, “It has to.” and there we were – with him in a bow tie.  He conceded after some deliberation that it might go and measured the stair riser to the lowest ceiling point.  “We’ll have to take it off the skid”, to which I responded, “You are going to have to take it off sometime.”


The strategic crew consultation took much longer than the 30 second lift as they elevated the piano over the banister with elegance. The instrument has graced my music room for 10 years and provided hours of enjoyment, regretfully not to my family, as I continue to butcher the songs of my youth.

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