Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Nov 9: My Granddaughter Is a Musical Genius

Elvira and I try to spend a day hanging out together every week or ten days. Yesterday was her boyfriend Viking Rocker's birthday, so we baked him a cake. We also walked around the neighborhood with Melvyn, my alcoholic neighbor who is in love with me, looking for a rental house for them when their lease is up in a couple of months. Melvyn just had a pacemaker put in yesterday, but he insisted on going. He even called a couple of people who own rental properties to see if they had anything open.

And later Coraline entertained us by playing the piano. She may be only three months old, but the child loves music. Why wouldn't she though? Her mom is a classical pianist. Her dad has been playing in bands since he was 12. And her grandmommers has a little bit of musicality too. Not to sound too much like a doting grandma, but for a tiny human who only just learned to roll over on one side, it's amazing how long she will sit and play notes on the piano.

Suck it, Liberace!

She also sat contentedly on my lap at the piano while I practiced my Scrooge music, and some of those notes are long and high enough they call the neighborhood dogs to the door. She also loves to listen to me sing Evanescence while Elvira accompanies. She's either remarkably tolerant or she's going to disappoint us all and turn out to be tone deaf.

I should probably explain why this ability of hers to sit at the piano delights me so much. See neither of my kids could stand for me to play the piano. They love music and they both took classical piano lessons from the time they were 6 or 7 until they were 18, and later guitar lessons too for several years. Drake played keyboards in a black metal band for a few years. It's not that they don't like music and it's not that I suck at playing the piano. But for some reason they cried when I held them on my lap and played, and as they got older, they always had some kind of crisis when I played the piano. Elvira would cover their toilet with an entire package of sanitary pads, or Drake would fall out of a tree and break his arm. Something always happened.

Finally one day when Drake was a young teen and Elvira was about seven, I sat down at the piano and said, "You guys are old enough now to let me play the piano. I'm going to play for 20 minutes. Unless your hair is on fire or the police are at the door, don't bother me. In fact, tell the police to wait if they show up. Find something to do and let me play."

They both settled down with books to read. I lifted the lid of my grand piano and set the practice stick. Then I opened a book of Mozart, and started to play. The kids were quiet, reading and listening. The afternoon sun glowed gently through the maple tree in back and dappled the room in golden light. I played and played for all of three minutes .... and then the dog walked into the room, stood apologetically beside the piano for a few seconds, and let loose with a blast of diarrhea all over the 800 yards of new carpet we'd had laid the week before. OK, not all 800 yards, but she walked as she shit... walked and shit....She covered yards of carpet with dog shit.

I got up, closed the piano, and said, "I'm never playing this fucking piano ever again." And then I spent several hours cleaning up the dog diarrhea.

That's why I'm so excited that Coraline will sit on my lap while I play the piano and practice my Scrooge songs. Even if it's only for fifteen minutes.

OK, one more photo of Coraline drooling into my piano.

What do you want me to play next, Grandmommers?


  1. and look at those fingers? definitely has a big reach for 3 months.

  2. We commented on her long fingers the day she was born and predicted she had the makings of a fine pianist. I try to keep my expectations in check, but it's hard not to think of the fun we'll have playing music together.....if I'm lucky.

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  4. Damn, Diplomat. Why so rude?

  5. I've played the flute for decades. I've always hoped that one of my children would play an instrument and that we could play duets. My father played the clarinet, and we used to play duets together. I miss him. So far, except for Paul's brief interest in the piano a year ago, none of them have been interested in an instrument.

    However, Ross and I just got back from choir, and I've sung with both of my older children in musical theater. I wouldn't have expected that years ago.

  6. Elvira, I can't hit them out of the ballpark every night.

  7. Hope she learns to love classical and jazz. When I come back I'm hankering to be a cellist, so if the timings right, we may be able to do some great duets.

    Peace ...

  8. Sorry, Reticula -- I forgot an apostrophe! S'pose that messes up my grade, huh?

  9. Rollo, I'm sure she'll love classical. And her dad plays jazz and blues, so she'd better like both.

    I always allow revisions on at least the first draft. ;-)