Music has always been a huge part of my life. Even though none of my family played instruments, my grandmother loved singing and music was always playing (in the car - cassettes/radio - and at home). We sang along with everything from the time we were old enough to talk.
At around age 6 or 7 my mother gave me a toy piano (one of those old electone ones that have a battery in the back and about two octaves of teensy keys). I unpacked it, sat down ran my hands over the keys and then started picking out my favourite songs by ear. It was then my parents decided someone in the family should learn an instrument, so they went off and bought me a lovely old second-hand piano, and installed me in piano lessons (classical of course).
To be honest, I learned enough to get me by, and play easy stuff, but wasn't really all that interested until I hit about 14 and moved to another town. My parents found me a great piano teacher who was about 100 (well he seemed to be to me, at the time) who went further with me with classics (mainly piano duets which were fantastic to play with him) and then started me on jazz. I loved it. Unfortunately I didn't play jazz for long before I left home, and finished lessons.
One of the best parts of playing piano while I lived at home was the connection it gave me with my stepfather. He was fairly gruff most of the time and didn't show many emotions. We lived in a huge house at the time and the piano was in the formal loungeroom which wasn't used much. The walls were very thick (sandstone blocks) and when I played in there, not much could be heard outside the room. There was a huge fireplace at one end, and it connected to a similar fireplace in the kitchen (which was converted to fit the hotplate bench). I would come home from school, dump my books in my room and head to the piano for a couple of hours, with the door shut of course. My father would time his arrival home so that he ended up in the kitchen about 15 minutes after I started. He would sit there, and whistle with the piano as I played, whistling harmony to the melody, for hours - as long as I would continue. When I stopped, and was packing up, he would pack up and go back to work, and nothing was ever said about it. It was a bond we shared for several years, and I have never discussed it with him.
After I left home, I got into music in a big way - I bought my self an electric piano (Yamaha) and a Yamaha DX7 keyboard, and played whenever I could get my hands on them (several hours a day). I always sang, but didn't get the chance to do it in front of everyone until someone grabbed me and put me in front of a mic one day. Once I got over my initial shock, I loved it. Even more than playing keyboards.
So ... I kept doing keyboard + vocals up until about 1997, when I had huge things happening in my personal life, and gave it up. I sold my piano, gave away/put away all my music, and just shut it out. I guess that's one thing I regret. Lately I've been wanting to get back into music, just for myself.
Right at this minute I'm listening to Christina "Merry Christmas Baby" - big band jazz - very smmooooth.
last modified 21/07/2004