Sunday, October 26, 2014

My Little Diversion

an instrument I played yesterday, which was nice but not my favorite

I admit to having enjoyed myself most thoroughly on my forced R & R yesterday.  There's something about playing the best pianos ever made that can do wonders to lift one's spirits if one is a musician. I observe proper etiquette in music showrooms, so I don't barge my way up to a Bosendorfer and start playing away on it without someone in authority giving me carte blanche to do so. One of my "babysitters" is less reticient in that regard, though he plays well enough that no one told him to stop. 

When I asked about playing a particularly expensive model, the floor salesperson actually did ask to inspect my hands, which was a bit insulting, but a minor inconvenience for the privilege of playing a fine instrument. Once I began the opening strains of Beethoven's Sonata in E-flat, however, the showroom floor was essentially mine for the using. The floor supervisor actually  (diplomatically) kicked an adolescent male with a propensity for pounding Chopin works requiring little skill who was there with his mother for the purpose of actually buying a piano off of the main stage piano and moved me over to it. I played through a couple of songs on it, but it wasn't my favorite piano in the room, so I eventually moved on to another instrument. While they're fine intruments, I'm finding that I'm not a Bosendorfer girl. Give me a high-quality Steinway, or even a top-of-the-line Kawai any day and I'm perfectly happy.

In that particular store, the floor supervisor took down my contact information. (He didn't take the info from my "babysitter," which seemed to have put his nose out of joint just a bit.) The man said that sometimes they like to have local musicians showcase their instruments for trade shows or other occasions. I told him I have limited spare time because of medical school, but he said they have enough opportunities that one of them might work out for me, and that they use medical school students all the time for such purposes. It seems that many of us have undergrad degrees in music as well as in pre-med fields. He said it pays, though not all that much. I don't need the money all that much, anyway. as long as it covers my costs for traveling there plus whatever lunch costs (lunch is sometimes provided, he said) i'm happy.

The other stores were fun as well. The employees were slightly less snobbish about inspecting my hands, but  the original snobs were nice enough after the fact that I didn't really hold their initial pretentiousness against them.

We looked at violins as well. Predictably, the salesment were more persnickety about allowing me to play their violins. Violins are less durable than pianos. My "babysitter" suggested to the floor supervisor that he allow me to try out an inexpensive model. I took the cheap instrument after the floor salesman had somewhat tuned it and immediately broke into the Preludio to Bach's Partita for Violin. Thirty seconds later the salesman grabbed the cheap violin from my hands and went off in seach of a more suitable instrument. He even let me tune the next one myself.I have a really nice violin of my own, so playing the showroom model wasn't quite like playing all those exquisite pianos that I played, but it was a nice diversion just the same.

i ended up talking my handlers out of the movie because I have a headache. (They took my adviser's money and went to the movie themselves, but I won't tell if they won't.) I still don't have any textbooks in my possession, but it was nice to sleep the headache off instead of attempting to study through it.


  1. That sounds like a fun day! I would have enjoyed seeing (and hearing) you play!

  2. Sounds like your "enforced frivolity" didn't turn out to be all that horrible. It's probably good for your mind to have a break. I say this fully admitting my hypocrisy. I would have been pissed if someone took my books away, and I'm only in semester 1 doing gen eds.