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  • I inherited my mother's piano when she decided to move from London to a retirement home in Brighton.

    The process of having it delivered to us in Poole, cleaning it up and having it tuned took a long time.

    This poor piano had been bought for my Mother in 1910; as her parents hoped that she would be a concert pianist. Although she did not have the chance to play on the stage she took the piano with her wherever she lived (seven different houses was the last count).

    During the first world war my parents woke up one morning to see the front door had been blasted halfway up the stairs by a bomb, and all the furniture, including the piano, was covered in glass and splinters of wood.

    A few years later my mother had the piano painted black to hid the blast marks.

    When we received the piano my husband Jacques meticulously, took the piano apart, cleaned it with wire wool and removed the black paint. It was wonderful to see the natural wood hues.

    My father admired it saying that he felt it looked like a coffin before.

    My daughter, Samantha, learned to play the piano accompanied by Madeleine on the clarinet.
    Then when my son Demian was three I saw a notice announcing that the Suzuki method of teaching was available in my town.

    The method did not suit my son. It involved continuous repetition of the same nursery rhyme with no variety or chance to explore other music. When he finally kicked the piano as we arrived at his usual session, I realised it was time to try other teaching methods. This photo shows him seated at the piano with his Suzuki method class mates and his teacher.

    My mother's piano now lives in my daughter's house in Ireland. A piano has a very long life.
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