For those who communicate in ASL, in deaf culture, normally a deaf person will give someone a name sign which is a sign that is used instead of spelling your name. The given name sign usually relates to a specific characteristic or skill that someone has. Mine is “A-piano” So you start off with the “A” hand shape from the ASL alphabet (for the first letter of my name), and then wiggle your fingers out ward towards the right (if you’re using you’re right hand because you are right handed. Left if you’re left handed) you wiggle your fingers as though you had piano keys right in front of you… Yup. That’s right! Just like that! Good job! *Applause assuming you signed my name*
When I was 7, my dad was working for this major food company named Sysco. Each year, they hosted this giant rodeo where all the employees and their families would come for games, jumpers, face-paintings, car shows and all of that fun stuff. Being a food company, they also had a ton of food and drinks. It was there where they held various drawings. They brought out many things to give away including a brand new portable keyboard with about 77 keys. The drawing began. My dad’s name was picked! Little did I know that was going to be the beginning of my piano playing history since he ended up giving the keyboard to me.
Fast forward 16 years and I now own a Cable Nelson upright acoustic from the 1960s. Actually, the story on how I got this one was pretty amazing! Let me tell you real quick how I got it:
When I was 16, my mom was dropping me off at the kingdom hall for early morning service one Saturday morning. On the way there, we saw a house that was having a yard sale with the “Everything must go!” sign and there it was! The piano! I begged my mom to check it out on her way back. It was 7 am and she was in her PJ’s and her robe so she protested, but I later found out that she went anyway. When I got home, my mom said the people had to leave the very next day so they sold the piano to her for only $50. No, that is not a typo missing another 0. It was literally $50.00 bucks. They practically gave it to us! It was in good working condition but just needed a tune up.
To this very day I feel like that piano was a gift from Jehovah. Had I not gone to early morning service that day, I would have missed it.
I never took a piano lesson which is why I an totally unskilled at reading music. I rely mostly on my hearing and imitate the way I see others play. It is something that has worked for me, however, that means that I am also relying on my memory. Once I start to forget how to play a song, it means I haven’t been playing it enough.
The way music can engulf you is such a beautiful thing. When I enter my “zone”, I forget about my surroundings and worries and only let feelings flow. If you are able to pick up an instrument, I highly recommend you to! It’s a wonderful way to let out your creativity and express those feelings!
I have attached a link to a video of one of my original pieces, however, I still have yet to decide what to name it.