Piano trio

Searching for a spot to put the bouquet of very tall gladiolas that my Mom brought to the farm, I eventually found my way to the piano in the dining room. With the pretty flowers in place, I took the opportunity to photograph this piano, which joined our family about a year ago.

Matt's grandma's piano

It’s a new addition to Matt’s and my little family, but not to Matt’s extended family. It’s his Grandma’s piano. This picture shows her at the piano with Matt’s two older brothers.

Matt's grandma with her piano

I played piano for many years, eventually earning my Grade 8 from the Royal Conservatory. My parents bought an electric piano for my sisters and me. A few years ago, they gave Matt and me the piano, which I really appreciated after not having a piano in my life for many years. However, I’ve always wanted a “real” piano. There’s something about wood and wires that was important to me.

Last summer, Matt’s aunt gave us his Grandma’s piano. I don’t play that often anymore–and when I do, my fingers are so rusty that I spend most of my time on scales, chords and arpeggios–but I’m still thrilled to have a “real” piano and especially one with family heritage.

Cecilian piano

The arrival of this instrument led to a bit of a game of musical pianos in our house.

My childhood piano moved to the basement. Its ability to play songs on its own and various other instruments aside from just piano is always a hit when the nephews come to visit.

We also had a third piano–the one that came with the house. This piano has lived in the cold cellar since we did the basement reno. It was a monster–big, heavy, beat-up and badly out-of-tune. Even if we could have lifted it, it wouldn’t have fit up the stairs. But I was adamant about keeping it because it was my “real” piano.

Well, once Mama’s piano arrived at the farm, I gave Matt the green light to get rid of the squatter piano.

(Piano aficionados may want to skip the next part).

The piano came out of the basement in relatively small pieces. The harp was still a monster to haul up the basement stairs. Matt did most of the work dismantling and evicting the piano. We have to extend thanks to my Dad, who dropped in for a visit and ended up swinging the sledgehammer and helping to carry the harp up the stairs. Then Matt’s Dad came by with his truck and helped Matt take the harp to the local charitable metal donation bin.

I did keep one piece of the old piano: this key, which now sits on top of Matt’s Grandma’s piano.


On the back side of this key, there’s a very faint signature. I think it says Ernest Pare Feniseur. I’ve type the name into Google, but haven’t turned up any results.

Piano key

Decorating the rest of the top of the piano, I have our valiantly persevering cacti, a metronome that we found in the house, my Mom’s gladiolas in my grandmother’s vase, Matt’s grandmother’s metronome and two candlesticks turned by my Dad (topped with candles that were burned at our wedding). Yes, I’m just a wee bit sentimental.

Matt's Grandma's piano

Together, they all make a pretty special corner of the house.

Who else played piano growing up? Do you still play? Anyone else have a piano at their house?


9 thoughts on “Piano trio

  1. So great to see you appreciating the piano which my sisters and I grew up with! I know that Matt’s grandmother would be thrilled.

    Take care,


    Sent from my iPad


  2. I never played piano. When I was in high school band I played flute, which I enjoyed, but not to the point of keeping up with it. Steve’s son takes piano lessons and he has become quite good at it. His teacher has two recitals a year and I always enjoy listening to his improvements. The only piano in our house is an electric keyboard that he keeps in his room to practice on!

    I totally get you on the sentimental stuff!!

  3. Not only do I play, but I am a piano teacher, so I spend a fair amount of my life at the keyboard. I love that you appreciate the value of Matt’s family’s piano. It definitely has worth in terms of history, craftsmanship and sentimentality. I think it’s sad that so many people are opting away from “real” pianos. I know that they’re big and require upkeep, but the difference in tone quality and the fact that you’re truly playing a “live” instrument make it worth the sacrifices, if it’s possible at all. I love how you kept the old key from the other piano too. Too bad the other parts are gone, because I saw a cool idea to use one of the interior parts as a thread holder. 🙂

    What’s I love about your version of sentimentality is how you honour the past. It’s not stuffed in a box somewhere, it’s out and able to be shared and enjoyed by all. I’m sure Matt’s grandma would be very pleased!

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