I’ve never been attached to an instrument before, and was somewhat taken aback by my emotions tonight as I tuned it. I’ve played better pianos – at Piano People in Champaign where I worked for a year I had the privilege of playing some of the finest pianos in the world – freshly re-built Steinways from the 20’s and 30’s. But, they came and went out the door. I started playing this piano in 1997, shortly after we started attending.
I’ve lead a lot of worship services from this piano, and played a lot more. It graced the cover of my first CD (although, ironically, was not heard on it) and was what I played on my second CD (the live worship one). As the church piano tuner for a decade I have tuned this piano more times than any other instrument by an order of magnitude (possibly two). I’ve also replaced nearly a dozen broken bass strings (none since we got the personal in-ear monitors, though. Possibly connected…)
But, times change. The church changed it’s vision for praise and worship, and the piano was set aside for a digital keyboard. It’s spend the last year off to the side of the platform on the floor. The musical style changed and I moved on to children’s ministry. I haven’t regularly played any piano for over a year, now.
The church offered the sell me the piano at a discounted price, but we’re still in the “Debt Snowball” stage of Financial Peace University, and could only have afforded roughly a third of the already low price.
I have to say, though, the saddest part of the evening was when I played the piano after tuning it. Not that playing it was that sad (kinda). Rather, I couldn’t believe how much of an edge had come off my chops in the last year. I’ve got to find an excuse to start playing regularly again.