Friday, September 22, 2006

Scene from El Rancho Harpo (featuring my 10 year old piano playing niece)

Schoolday afternoons out here at El Rancho Harpo are fun because my niece stops by on her way home from school to practice the piano. She loves my piano. Even though I am not a piano player I have a very nice one. It's an old german Bosendorfer Parlour Grand (that's a bit smaller than a baby grand) with mother-of-pearl white keys and real ebony black keys. She says she likes the way the keys feel, and playing a grand makes it all seem more real to her. She loves it when we raise the top.

But that's not what this is about. She was over yesterday and while she was in the music room practicing I was in the kitchen with MSNBC on. She finished and came out with me to have a snack before her dad came over to pick her up. They were going over the controversy stirred up by the Pope, the reaction of the muslims, and then Hugo Chavez and his "devil" remarks.

This wonderful 10 year old girl said to me "Why are all these people doing this?"

I asked her if her mother had ever told her about the imaginary friends she had when she was growing up. They were called Wendy and Bigga. She said yes. I told her when I was a little boy I too had an imaginary friend named Bobby Kallapido. Then I said "Imagine that your mother and I decided to start a war over who had better friends."

She said "That would be silly."

I agreed.

(crossposted at Big Brass Blog)


Blogger Pogo said...

She sounds like a very bright child - hope my 9 year old sees things as clearly.

BTW, Mrs.P would kill for a Bosendorfer.

10:34 AM  
Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

she is very bright indeed. i picked the bosendorfer up at an estate sale in san diego. it was a case where the family literally opened up the house, there weren't any professionals involved from either the music world or from the antique arena (although i did notice a bunch of dealers at the place). when i had it appraised i went back to the family and told them what the difference was and offered to renegotiate the selling price. we were able to arrive at something that was beneficial to all concerned. bosendorfers are incredible. every time a piano player visits they gush and turn different colors with love and envy. i told my sister that when i move again (even further out into the sticks) i will trade pianos with her. she has an old Vose & Sons upright that sounds just fine and would do for the amount of playing it gets around my house. having an instrument that a kid likes to practice on and play is something that really helps the muse along while they are learning.

11:27 AM  
Blogger FriĆ°vin said...

Bosendorfer -- Christ almighty!

That was my brother's "dream piano" way back when. When I was living in London 1983-1984 I would go to the piano room at Harrods and check prices. If I recall, those were around $25,000 to $50,000 back then.

1:19 PM  
Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

they are the class of all action when it comes to pianos. because of the age on mine (nearest estimate was that it was made in the early 1840's and probably was shipped to california during the gold rush) the sound is very mellow and rich. the people i got it from said that it had been completely restrung right before WWII.

5:30 PM  
Blogger pissed off patricia said...

That was about as perfect an explanation as I have ever heard. Good for you and good for her and her comment.

5:12 AM  
Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

she's a very thoughtful and serious young woman. we have had lots of long conversations about some very interesting stuff. i feel that her musical talent and discipline carry over into most other aspects of her life. she's also been spending time at my harps lately. just sitting at them noodling around, trying to equate the harp structure with the piano. she said "the thing about piano is that everybody plays piano. even when i get very good there are going to be a lot of other very good players around. if i got very good on the harp i'd be one of just a few." that's a very sophisticated perception for a 10 year old. i told her that she doesn't have to quit the piano to add the harp and she said "i want to have time for soccer though." i told her that was probably for the best, that the harps would be there when ever she felt like giving them a try. i reminded her that her cousin who is now studying harp in ireland didn't start playing until she was 14. that its just as important to make sure she has time to just be a kid.

9:26 AM  

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