The title of this blog can be taken into several literal directions.
An instrument. The type which was chosen by my parents for my sister and me to learn how to play. I had no say-so in the matter because I was the youngest and, therefore, was not entitled to an opinion. Just consider me paint on the wall.
I would have preferred the piano, but apparently the organ was more fashionable to my parents. I can’t even fathom this idea through their eyes back in the 1970’s. An organ – really? I know it had cool buttons you could press for certain beats and could have possibly been the most obvious reason to buy one, but to me a piano sounded better to the ears than an organ.
An organ sounds so….so….circus-like. I think of monkeys when I think of an organ. Most people would think of accordions, which happens to be my husband’s favorite instrument. I think of organs because accordions sometimes sound like organs if the organs are really cheap.
And, let’s not even go to that deep, dark corner of my husband’s mind. He thinks accordions are cool. I’m this close to buying one for him, but I can’t for the life of me think of a place that would offer accordion lessons. If I did buy him an accordion and actually found someone who provided lessons that would mean I’d be exposed to him practicing. I probably would also be exposed to him joining a polka band because I don’t know of anyone hiring out accordion players these days except for polka bands.
Can you live in the house with someone who is practicing an accordion?
Yeah, me neither. I think my dogs would start howling or hiding – maybe both.
I think our teacher’s name was Mr. Hurley – don’t commit me to that, but I do remember what he looked like: Very tall and string-beanie like with a bald head, glasses and teeth that made me want to feed him a sugar cube and stomp my feet out for every beat I was playing. I’m not being mean. That’s not even being sarcastic. It’s a truth.
I remember having to practice the organ about three times a week. Did I enjoy it? Not particularly. To me it was a boring instrument to play. Drums, on the other hand…
There was no enjoyment from faintly pressing the ivory’s while the fake, circus-like sounds escaped the speakers from within it’s oak wooden frame. Have you ever tried playing, “Stairway to Heaven” by Led Zeppelin on an organ? I have.
Trust me – it’s not bad ass like the Led Zeppelin version.
My sister and I accomplished with great finesse, “Heart and Soul”, like everyone else who learned to play the organ or piano. We were entertainment for my parent’s dinner parties; playing the song over and over again because it was the only one we knew. My parent’s dinner parties always ended early. Perhaps this was strategic planning on my father’s part.
At any rate, I don’t really recall when the organ lessons stopped, but I do recall some cheering on my end, and offered to help chop up the organ for firewood. Unfortunately, it sat there for many years untouched. Every once in awhile I would play, “Stairway to Heaven,” trying to conjure the image of Robert Plant sitting next to me on the organ bench nodding with much appreciation.
That didn’t happen.