Finally, a piano! An old, 54” upright with ivory keys and a loud-loud voice. Perfect for playing rags, which I was into at the time.
My older son is practicing his sax in the top picture and I look like I am conducting the piano in the next picture. The thirdt picture is the multi-use piano for birthday times with my grinning sons. The final picture are elementary school kids practicing some choir music for a school presentation.
We were now in Sunnyvale, CA, living in a happily diverse neighborhood. Since it was a house, I could play most anytime without worrying about the neighbors, as I had to in later moves. I was attending ragtime band events and learning to play those fast, syncopated pieces, s l o w l y. It was at this piano, that I wrote most of the pieces included in this website’s collection, “Compositions.”
While living here, I taught preschool children, ages 3-4, at Challenger, a preschool in San Jose. My younger son was in my class while I was teaching at this preschool. The curriculum relied heavily on being able to play the piano, which is why I got the job! I then created a business, Music House, and taught at my sons’ elementary school, singing, dancing, listening – no instruments (they still had a music program, thankfully).
I was offered a job at another school in Palo Alto, but it wasn’t enough of a salary to live on, so I declined. Needing to work full-time, now a single parent, I substituted in Special Education classes. I hoped I could transfer my Special Education teaching experience and college courses accomplished in New Jersey to CA. The goal was to gain a probational position teaching while completing the course requirements. Unfortunately, San Jose State University required more courses than I had time to pursue or money available.
I really enjoyed this piano, -those times full of music and the freedom to bang out tunes and compose at all hours!