There’s probably a term that describes a person who fiddles away on a keyboard without formal training or inherent skill. I don’t know the term, but I’m in that category. Late this afternoon I went out to the studio to see how the temperature was inside since Babe, our Steinway grand, should be kept cool or at least not hot. The studio is hooked up to our older solar power system, one we put in twenty years ago. It’s good for maybe 1,000 watts nowadays, and should provide enough power to keep a small window air conditioner going in Babe’s room.
The outside temperature today got to just over 100°F (38°C) but inside the studio it was a nice 78°F (25°C). I sat on the comfy leather-upholstered piano bench and turned back the first foot of Babe’s velvet cover, enough to open the keyboard for playing. I hit a few chords that I remembered from my early piano lessons and was rewarded by the rich sound that Babe gave back. This is a truly remarkable instrument—it’s like there is a vibrant soul inside that wants to please. I played around, pressing one key at a time and delighting in the sound that was produced. No matter what key I pressed, there was a beautiful response. Wow. This thing is pure magic—even beyond magic; it’s like immersing yourself in what makes life worthwhile. We took on a considerable obligation to acquire this magical instrument. It may be the smartest investment we ever made.