Evelyn’s First Piano Recital

Evelyn had her first piano recital over the weekend, and she did great. She has been taking piano for a couple of years now, but we have been pretty low key about the whole thing and this is the first time she has performed.

I was really surprised at how nervous she was! She typically has absolutely NO stage fright, and has performed on stage for audiences many, many times this size (including singing and dancing!) without being nervous at all. So I was really surprised at how nervous she was! She said later that it was hard not to make mistakes due to how hard her hands were shaking (just in case you’re not a piano player, I can let you in on a little secret: it’s really hard to play the piano without the use of your hands).

When she sat down afterwards she just gave me the BIGGEST smile.

I have to tell you that there is almost nothing the kids can do that makes me as happy as to hear them playing piano. Evelyn has long ago eclipsed my own musical ability, and Oliver is pretty close. When I see them playing it’s just like magic. Absolute magic. I often just laugh out loud when they’re practicing because it seems so crazy that their fingers are doing these things. How are their fingers doing these things!

I love it. I want them to never stop taking piano.

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And now, a duet

And now, for your enjoyment, a beautiful piano and accordion duet.

Because nothing says “Spring!” like “Jingle Bells”:

(Special thanks to our videographer, Oliver!)

Just in case our family wasn’t loud enough already, we bought a piano

We have been planning to buy a piano for quite some time. The kids have been saving every penny they have for almost a full year, starting with Christmas presents last year. I have to say I am VERY impressed with the determination and focus with which they saved. Pretty impressive for two kids their age to stick with it for so long.

It’s kind of amazing how much money the kids were able to save up. We told the kids we would get a piano when they had saved up $200, so they put forward a pretty significant amount of money. A lot came from Christmas and birthday gifts, but really it came from everywhere: tooth fairy money, psych experiments, and any change dropped on the street in a 3 mile radius. It was kind of funny; when we finally opened up the “piano bank” to count the money, it was full of hundreds of the grubbiest, nastiest street pennies the city of Chicago has to offer.

We bought the piano from Keys 4/4 Kids, a “501(c)3 nonprofit organization that accepts, restores, and sells donated pianos. Proceeds from piano sales support music and arts programs for local youth.” Corbin was suuuper nice and helped us pick out an absolutely beautiful piano. Evie got her heart set on it immediately, so of course we ended up buying one that was at the tippy-top of our price range.

However, it was worth it, because Evie has just had a blast with that piano. She plays it every minute she gets. She’s decided she would like to be a “famous composer” when she grows up, and the floor around the piano is currently littered with the “sheet music” she’s creating. The two current favorites are “Peter, Peter, Pumpkin Eater” and “Love Me Tender” (taught by Grandma Kathy). One or the other is played about ever 5 minutes, so they have a way of sticking in your head.

a girl and her piano

Looks like someone will be ready for some piano lessons, if you’re thinking of Christmas gifts!