Monday, January 14, 2008

A Special Gift

If you've had a peek at my blogger profile you may have noticed that I list homemade music among my interests.

My interest in music was born early in life when, as a lad, I enjoyed getting up early on Saturday mornings to play my mother's baby grand piano. I never took piano lessons; I played entirely by ear. I mostly noodled around. I would try to pick out simple melodies. I played "Chopsticks."

Most satisfying was trying to find combinations of notes that sounded good together. I enjoyed pressing the pedal so I could hear notes resonate deep within the piano and decay slowly towards silence. The pleasure of the music was enhanced whenever my mother would compliment me on my pianistic perambulations.

Later I would learn to play the trombone and tenor saxophone in school bands. But my heart was never in music that required music stands. As far as reading music went I was essentially dyslexic. Preferring folk music to marching band music, I ended up learning to play the guitar. By following my heart, I found something I loved to do.


This morning Daven handed me a CD wrapped in a paper napkin and tucked inside a plastic sandwich bag.

"Is this for me?" I asked.

"Yes," Daven told me.

"Can I play it?"


"OK. I'll listen to it at home or maybe in my car on the way home. Thanks, Daven," I said.

This evening I popped Daven's CD into the kitchen radio/CD player as I was washing the dishes. I heard the most lovely piano music, homemade by Daven. It's slow, mostly one note at a time with lots of pedal work to allow the resonance of the piano deepen the sound. It reminded me very much of the kind of music I used to play, piano by ear and from the heart. Daven has the a special gift for music.

Daven at work late last year.


lisajeanne said...

Daven was very proud of that CD and very excited to give it to you Mr. Gurney. He was a bit nervous but very excited and proud. Thank you so much for listening to it and giving it a wonderful review!!

James Gurney said...

I also remember trying to pick out tunes on that same baby grand, and I remember sitting underneath it while it was being played. I'm still in awe of people who can create music out of a piano.

Gail Jonas said...

Dan, We have the love of music in common, too. As a young person I played the piano and cello, then as a teenager became the church organist.

Unfortunately, I was only a mediocre maker of music, and along with drawing and painting I gave it up to focus on words.

However, during some difficult times in my life, music, riding my bike, and growing flowers provided me with the solace I needed.

I have a piano, and my 11 month month old grandson, Rody, loves to plink on it. He also drops down and spends time pressing on the pedals. When he's a little older, he'll be able to reach both at the same time!

Dan Gurney, Mr. Kindergarten said...

Lisajeanne, Thank you for taking the time to make the CD. What a treasure. Encourage Daven to make more music.

Jim, I share your admiration of keyboard artists. Bill Evans is among my very favorite pianists. We're thinking of getting a piano for our house. Kind of goes against our trend of getting rid of stuff of late, though.

Gail, one of the great pleasures of playing music in kindergarten is that my audience isn't critical. One girl whose parents took her to a Joan Baez concert told her parents that Joan wasn't nearly as good as Mr. Gurney. (She was biased.) Anyway, there's nothing mediocre about the solace music can bring to its maker. Encourage Rody to plink away.