February 6, 2010

All in the Family

There was a small slightly out of tune piano that sat in the living room of my grandparents home. I had seen and heard plenty of instruments as a child but this piano was the first one I was allowed to touch and explore. For some reason while a child's plonking away would be pure torture to any normal adult, my Grandmother didn't seem to mind. Not only was she willing to teach me the basics of how the notes were organized, I was given the opportunity to experiment with all of them for an extended amount of time. Her patience was epic and while I never learned to officially play it, I could fake my way through several pieces (classics like the "Nadia's Theme" from the Young and the Restless) and in hindsight was my first lesson in how music worked. My parents loved music deeply, took me to classical performances and the likes as a very small kid, but it was my Grandmother who offered me hands on training and was willing to expose me to a musical instrument first hand... no less with the patience of a saint.

Thanks Granny.

What I didn't realize as a child was that my Grandmother's father wasn't just an exceptional piano player with a passion for music, he wrote sheet music and poetry. Actually he didn't just write music for the piano and shelf it, he was a published multiple times and apparently made quite a name for himself. A few of his pieces are still being published today and his original pieces show up on Ebay and sheet music sites from time to time. Frederick Keats passed his love of words and music as well as the ability to create it to his daughter only to eventually be passed onto me.

Some families pass along recipes and quilts, I have the deep appreciation for music and almost 150 years of my family producing it pumping through my veins. The beauty of this is not lost on me and I am proud to carry on the tradition.

It's unbelievably sad to say good-bye to my Grandmother today but as painfully sentimental as this sounds, the part of her that lives on in me ...pretty much owns me.

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