My musical gifts: Opportunity, teachers, and incompetence

To say that someone has a musical gift, or is gifted, usually means that they have unusual talent or can perform beautifully for others. I mean something quite different here.

When I say “musical gift” in this and the next two posts, I mean a gift to me, one that enhances my enjoyment of music. I was granted these through no effort on my own––no long, arduous hours of practice.

Opportunities to learn

My dad at his piano store c. 1954

The first of the three gifts is opportunity. It came in multiple ways.

My father sold pianos through his store. We always had a piano in the house; it was part of the store’s inventory. If anyone wanted that model he could sell it as a lightly used piano. That meant that we might discover that our much loved mahogany spinet might be suddenly hauled away and replaced by a large black upright, or in later years by an electronic keyboard.

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