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Learning to Play the Piano
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I must have been about 7 years old or so. I remember sitting down on the piano bench at the old upright piano with Beethoven's "Moonlight Sonata" open in front of me. It was my father's book of music and he had left home, my sister had died, and it was just me and mom. The empty house echoed.

My mother showed me middle C on the keys and showed me middle C on the staff. She explained that each space and each line on the staff represented a key on the keyboard. I knew the music in my head, of course, from having heard my father play it many times, but my piano expertise up to that point had been limited to "Chopsticks".

I started to pick out the notes. My hands were too small to span an octave, so I really had to stretch (read: hop) to get the octaves, but gradually I began to pick it out, note by note.

And that's how I learned to play the piano. I taught myself from the "Moonlight Sonata". A few days later my mother came into the living room to listen, realized that I was actually playing the piano (not just poking at the keys) and arranged for piano lessons for me.

My next adventure was the Bach "Inventions". They remain favorites to this day.

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