Image by ☺Laura☺ via Flickr
Sometimes a song knocks on the door and insists you open it. This week it was John Lennon’s “Imagine“.
Our local music store (Portland Music) has sheet music in the basement and instruments upstairs. They have an amazing bunch of digital pianos these days and usually someone is trying them all out while I’m shopping for sheet music.
I’m all for people playing the piano or the keyboard or whatever all day, every day, in public, in the music store, on street corners, in bars, hospitals, Nordstrom’s, everywhere. But the music coming from the digitals upstairs makes it hard to concentrate on the music I have to read downstairs (when you’re looking for music for students you shuffle through it quickly by reading it and then maybe sit down and play what’s left to see if it plays like you heard it in your head. I have trouble hearing music on the page if music is playing).
I don’t think I have ever heard real music being played upstairs. Just lots of students rattling through things, neophytes poking at the demo buttons, glissandi, “Fur Elise” by the bucketful. Either blah or annoying, depending on my mood.
But not this weekend. This time it was real music.
Someone was playing “Imagine”, beautifully. I set my sheaf of Late Elementary pieces down and just listened. And I thought how, if I ever get around to learning any popular music of any sort, “Imagine” would be a great place to start.
Then, the next day, what should appear in my inbox but a flyer from Scott Houston, the redoubtable Teach Yourself “Piano in a Flash” star of public TV and the internet. I love Scott. He is my favorite Pied Piper of piano playing. What was he announcing but a DVD to teach you to play “Imagine” , starting easy and progressing up to the full version.
Before I had time to whip out my credit card and order it, the phone rang. It was a prospective student, an adult. He said it was time. He needed to do something he’s been putting off forever: play the piano.
“What would you like to play?” I asked, and he answered,