Music to My Kids' Embarrassed Ears


Submitted a month ago

One thing I love about the Upper Valley is that you can find art here whether you're looking for it or not. Sometimes it's more like the art finds you.

A while back, the Hopkins Center for the Arts placed 50 pianos throughout the area to celebrate their 50th anniversary. Each one was donated, cleaned and tuned, and painted by a local artists in partnership with the AVA Gallery. They called it the "Hands on Pianos" project. If you see one, you should have a seat and play; that's the whole idea.

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One such piano lives at the Tip Top Building in White River. I've occasionally heard someone playing it when I'm there for a bite at Thyme or a birthday party at Tip Top Pottery. Most of the time I just hear people banging on it, and by "people" I mean "my own children."

So I was awestruck when we dropped into Oodles a few weeks ago and heard beautiful music resonating through the building's nooks and crannies. It was a poignant, grown-up variation of "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" that made me nostalgic and happy and a little sad all at the same time.

"Shhh," I said to the girls. "I have to record this!" Their expressions suggested no, you absolutely do not, but I did anyway.

I whipped out my phone and crept toward the music. I found the musician sooner than I expected. First he startled me, and then I crouched awkwardly behind him as I tried to decide whether to keep filming, or to NOT act like a stalker lady who has never heard piano before. As I may have mentioned, I am not smooth.

I could have listened all day. If you're wondering exactly how this played out, here's how (with brief cameo by a child who loves the camera. She timed it so well that I couldn't edit her out).

If you know this person playing, tell him I said thank you.


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