Piano Lessons

I had an important bit of work to do and needed peace and quiet. So I summoned the creature and let it be known that unless it was an emergency or he needed me to make him something to eat, I was not to be disturbed. He said that he understood.

Five minutes later…

“Will you fix me a tuna fish sandwich?”

“Yes. Anything else?”

“No thank you.”

A few minutes later…

“Can we play chess?”

Sigh. “Not right now. I really do have to finish this. Later tonight, if you still feel like it, we’ll play chess, alright?”

Manipulative downcast glance. Guilt-inducing soft voice. “Okay.”

A few minutes later…

“Can you play the piano?”

“What does the piano have to do with either food or an emergency? No, not really. I can play a few chords, a couple of songs, that’s it. Why?” I turned back to my work.

“Because I want to learn to play piano just like Phil Coulter.”

“Yeah, well good luck with—wait! What did you just say?”

The child never cries, but his lower lip was trembling a little. “I want to learn to play that song ‘The Town I Loved so Well’, so I could play it for you. That’s the greatest song ever.”

“Well, there’s no such thing as the greatest song ever, but it’s up there, sure. C’mere.” I put my hands on his shoulders. “We can’t afford piano lessons, much less a piano. We’ve three guitars and two tin whistles and you play none of them. What makes you think you’d stick with the piano?”

“‘Cause I say I will.”

I was trying not to laugh. “I’ll tell you what. I have a friend who has a keyboard she hardly uses. I can get you the loan of it. I’ll get you some sheet music for some easier songs, and if you can learn to play one of them–just one–I’ll get you the keyboard and some piano lessons. Deal?”


“Now will you please let me finish this?”


And so it was that I got the loan of the keyboard, which the wee ‘un proceeded to use as a drum machine, and play around with beat-box effects. Oh, well.

Then one day, from downstairs, I heard him play the opening strains of Für Elise.

No we own a keyboard.

And I have to pay for piano lessons.

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19 Responses to Piano Lessons

  1. “The Creature” (Frankenstein’s monster perhaps?) sounds like an adorable and brilliantly manipulative young one. How are the lessons progressing? Good for him that he kept his word. Maybe once he gets more and more into the piano, the guitars and tin whistles will get an airing.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. oglach says:

    That’s my hope. Love the Frankenstein’s monster analogy, made me smile.


  3. Brilliant writing. You have an amazing way with words.

    Manipulative downcast glance. Guilt-inducing soft voice. “Okay.” — WOW.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The story is both funny and touching. Also beautifully told.

    “Für Elise” is one of those tunes that ignores genre lines and speaks to almost everybody. If the creature’s drum machine simulations lead to competence in jazz as well as classical, “Für Elise” would work well in jazz arrangement. In music, lines are there to be crossed. Well, not the lines on sheet music. The lines that put people in boxes.

    Liked by 1 person

    • oglach says:

      Thanks for reading; you’re absolutely correct about crossing genre lines; your statement had me laughing as I instantly envisaged waking up one morning to hear the creature playing ‘Elise’ Monk-style. We shall see….

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Your retelling of conversations is superb — just sounds so natural and effortless. Is this a true story? We should be posting your story by mid-July.

    Liked by 1 person

    • oglach says:

      It is a true story; that’s why it sounds so effortless. I’m glad you liked it. I wasn’t entirely thrilled with the story I wrote for you guys; there’s a story in there somewhere but I had to write it off of the top my head because I was about to get on a plane. But if it’s good enough for you, it’s good enough for me. 🙂 I’ve really been enjoying your project and all the contributions.


  6. Lucky it wasn’t the bagpipes….

    Liked by 1 person

    • oglach says:

      I happen to like bagpipes, and we have uillean pipes, which are similar but played with a bellows by means of the elbow rather than breathing. They are more quiet and suitable for the indoors. But I’ll take what I can get. Thanks for reading. Loved your last post!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Well-told slice of life story…I really enjoyed it.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. skat says:

    That is a great song (you can tell the Creature, I said so). The one that always gets me though is “The Dutchman”. Brings tears to my eyes every time. Oh, and sometime let me tell you about the duet my father and I did of The Clancy Brothers’s “Johnny McEldoo”. On stage. At my high school. My father forgot his reading glasses too. It was hit, nonetheless.
    I have a piano. I occasionally play it, when nobody is in the house. That’s another story.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. inesephoto says:

    Hope your young one didn’t give up the lessons.

    Liked by 1 person

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