Thursday, April 16, 2009

Tickling the ivories

Once upon a time there was a girl whose whole life revolved around music. Once it was discovered (at an early age) that she could sight-read practically anything that was set in front of her, her life took the direction of becoming an accompanist (playing for vocalists, instrumentalists, choirs, etc.). She pretty much became known as the piano girl. Anyone that knew her knew mostly just one side of her -- her life as a pianist.

Fast-forward ten years to find a whole different girl. One that spends her days taking care of her household, attending to the needs of her husband and son (most of the time, that is -- she is, ahem, still perfecting the art of cleaning), and living in her own little crafty wonderland (shameless blog plug). The girl still finds time a few hours a week to accompany for ballet classes, but, other than that, the girl rarely sits down at the beautiful piano (Boston, baby, a beautiful shiny black Boston) in her dining room to crank out lovely music.

Until rare moments (like recently) when the girl is invited to provide music for special occasions such as a wedding or a senior adult banquet (don't knock it). It is in these moments that the old persona slowly creeps out from within the girl, and she is once again transformed to her old life, a life of music, music, music. And for these special occasions the girl is able to take on fun challenges to keep her musical brain active, like sneaking in the Wojahn Brothers...

..."Oh No You Didn't!" as a wedding recessional. Oh yes, she did. Snuck it in so those that recognized the song were pleasantly surprised (while silently cracking up) and those that didn't know the song just figured it was another classical piece being used as a recessional.

And then the moments like tonight, where the girl played almost an hour of dinner music while 200-something senior citizens dined and chatted amongst themselves. The girl's heart swelled as she played her absolute favorite type of music in the whole world for an hour up on the stage (that would be Big Band and jazz standards) -- songs like "Stardust" (her favorite song EVER, just an FYI)...

...and "The Very Thought of You" and "Misty" and "Mona Lisa" (and she could go on and on and on). Songs that everyone should know and recognize, and if you don't, well, shame on you for closing your mind to the greatness that seeped out of the 1930s and 1940s. The girl became so entranced in the music that it was a little bittersweet to have to get down from the stage for the main act to perform.

Thank you, God, for evenings like tonight that allow me to escape from the day-to-day every once in a while, moments that remind me of the music You put in my heart. It was fun.

Now if I could just find a steady gig like that, some little dark, swanky restaurant where they could stick me in the corner and let me play away to my heart's content (all while getting paid for it), yep, that would be ideal...


Happily Ever After said...

I loved that you played "Oh No You Didn't" as the recessional. It was hilarious! And the bride and groom loved it. They were quick to point it out to me the second we caught up at the reception. Too funny!

And I am totally with you, Piano Girl. I love the old big band and jazz music. There's just nothing like it.

Have a great weekend!

Matt and Randi said...

Valerie - I just went back to check your blog to see if you mentioned anything about the work you put into that song for our wedding. And sure enough. But you didn't give yourself enough credit. It was AWESOME! Thanks so much for making that day more special, and especially UNIQUE for us. Randi absolutely raves about our piano player still!