Friday, January 6, 2012

Piano Lessons


Just down the street from little Velda, close to the old railroad track, things were happening….things she wanted to be part of…

When she was just about four years old, she became aware of Mrs. Muzette Brown’s group piano lessons…and she wanted more than anything to learn how to play the piano…

DSC07697_edited-1 {beautiful floral background print from Crafty Secrets’ new “Creating with Vintage Illustrations” CD}

Not telling anyone where she was going, she would just “show up”, as she remembered, at Mrs. Brown’s house during lesson time.

“Mrs. Brown, being a very nice person, and apparently being perceptive about my hunger to learn, would succumb to my pleadings and would give me some little thing to do to keep me from being so obnoxious…”, Velda remembered…

DSC07707_edited-1 {I really wanted some kind of keyboard or piano image for my page, but couldn’t find anything that worked…so I just made my own!}

When her mother finally realized what was going on, she paid Mrs. Brown a visit herself.  “She’s much younger than anyone I’ve ever taught”, said Mrs. Brown, “but I’m willing to take her on if you wish to enroll her”, she said.

Her parents eventually “gave in”, as Velda put it, and she was a regular student at Mrs. Brown’s for many years.

Velda Ellen--growing up {Velda, about age 12, 1927}

“I regret to say that although I continued with piano lessons for quite a few years, I was never a ‘child prodigy’, and I finally convinced my parents to be satisfied with that obvious fact…”, Velda said.

She quit lessons while an older school girl, but later in life regretted that she didn’t study longer…

DSC07705_edited-1 {a new page for my heritage scrapbook}

I started taking piano lessons around the time I was 7 years old, continuing until I was 17.  I didn’t always enjoy the lessons & daily practicing, but I do love playing the piano now, and I’m so grateful that I can.

I always just assumed my parents paid for my lessons all through the years, and one day, a year or so ago, I thanked my mother for doing that.

hpqscan0001_edited-1 {me—1969—about the time I began my piano lessons}

“Oh, we didn’t pay for them”, she said, “your grandparents did.”

I never knew.  They never said one thing to me about it.  They were ever supportive, always wanted to hear me play, but they never told me.


They’ve both been gone for years now…I wish so much that I could thank them for this…and, well, I guess I am right now…

Thank-you Velda, thank-you Dow, for the gift of music in my life…

Dow & Velda 1 {my grandparents—Dow and Velda Ostlund}

I love you.



  1. I loved playing the piano as a child and miss not having one in the house now. All three of my kids play an instrument. My daughter loves her violin like I loved my piano. What a sweet memory of your grandmother. Smiles...Renee

  2. sweet as always JUlie. I too took piano lessons for quite a few years, but never ever was very good at it. I had a teacher, Mrs. Legging, who always knew exactly how many days I practiced in a week.. she said my fingers told her! lol! my daughter plays piano beautifully and teaches it as well. all my kids played an instrument, bethany the flute, Tony the trombone, and rob for a very short time a euphonium(cant spell that!) I think Music is important in childrens lives.
    thanks for sharing!

  3. What a beautiful post, grandparents are so wonderful and I love the way you have documented this precious memory. Anna x

  4. That's lovely! Thank you for sharing that!

  5. Julie,

    I just love your family stories! What a gift your grandparents gave you! I played the violin, but gave it up after high school and have only picked it up several times since then.

  6. What a lovely family story and connection, Julie. I was always in chorus in school. Even in Honor Chorus one year and would attend competitions. My Aunt Dot wanted to pay for me to have singing lessons but I didn't want her to spend the money. She told me she would pay for them anytime I wanted. She died during heart surgery when I was a senior in high school. Losing her was awful. Your heritage pages are just beautiful. Best wishes and blessings, Tammy

  7. Another beautiful story and page Julie! Well done! I always wanted to learn how to play the piano when I was a girl. I would have given anything to have been able to take piano lessons. I still would love to play, but alas . . . I cannot. I must be simply content to listen to other's do so. I love to listen to Paul Cardall. His piano playing is beautiful. xxoo

  8. Such a beautiful gift ,Julie- the thankyou for them was, I guess, listening to you playing.
    Love your card-the papers are so lovely- and so are you in your velvet dress.

  9. What a beautiful story and lovely art work.
    Liz @ Shortbread & Ginger

  10. Świetna, niezwykle piękna, pomysłowa i oryginalna:)))

  11. Hi Julie, what a wonderful story. I took piano lessons when I was young and unfortunately I didn't stay with it and now I so wish I did. Never to late to learn though!
    hugs~~~ Daphne

  12. Oh wow, Julie, what a surprise to find this out!!! And I adore what you created--so fantastic!!! You are sooo gifted!!! xo Cindy

  13. Just beautiful work to seal such precious memories!

  14. Piano lessons! Some of my favorite memories of my growing up days...I loved YOUR story! True...those scales weren't always fun but being able to play the piano brought many hours of enjoyment to me and to my mother who LOVED the music! Thanks for the memories!

  15. Oh Julie, I Love this story and Your Beautiful Piece. Your Grandparents Sound Wonderful and I Do Believe you Thanked them Every Time you Played!
    Have a Wonderful Weekend my Friend!' I am glad you Entered my Little Giveaway!

  16. I just love how you tell stories! We had a wonderful family filled Christmas and New Year's. My youngest son just got a mission call to Australia. I am kind of stressed in getting passport, visa etc. all done, but I am sure it will all work out. Looking forward to another great year of blogging friend. Have a nice day!

  17. What a wonderful story Julie! Happy New Year! I love all the beautiful photos you have shared and the piano keys are perfect for the layout! Happy New Year!

  18. Hi Julie, That's another sweet page for your heritage scrapbook and again I'm amazed about all the details you know about your ancestors. That's so wonderful!

  19. Julie this is P.R.I.C.E.L.E.S.S.
    the story as well as the page...your grandparents are so proud!!!
    You are so lucky to have all these memories!
    BEAR HUGS ~victoria~

  20. Ahhhhh....another serendipitous event here.....the Butterfly Effect, if you did go visit my husband's blog makes us remember the past in order to live in the NOW and affect the future. Dearest, thank you for visiting!!!! ENJOY YOUR DAY!!!!! Anita

  21. What a great story...and lucky that you found out your grandparents paid for your lessons. I just think that would be a cool thing to know.
    Grandparents often "come through" don't they. My parents helped pay for my first sons mission.
    I took piano lessons for YEARS too. When I was first married, my husband bought me a piano. Then after my first son's children got old enough to play, he asked if he could have it. I gave it to him as I wanted his kids to have the opportunity to play. (oh, I sure missed it)
    maybe some day.....I'll get another one.

  22. Julie, as always so wonderful....come by and read the item I found about us keepers of the family history....I think you will enjoy it! It is exactly how I feel! Happy New Year! Sandy in Mesa.

  23. Julie, Yes, please feel free to use the words any time...they are not mine so plese aknowledge the people who did writeit...I know you will....I hope to see more of you and your blog! I have two, and I do the same post on both every so often. I need to write on my genealogy blog more often. Please feel free to check it out....the link is on my 521 Lake Street....Sandy

  24. I wish I'd stuck to my piano lessons! But what a great idea. I just might have to give my grandgirls some lessons too. Mimi

  25. Love your page, irs darling, Isn't that just like Grandparents to do such a wonderful thing and never say a word!
    Hugs Lynn

  26. Hi, i think that i saw you visited my web site so i came to “return the favor”.I'm trying to find things to enhance my web site!I suppose its ok to use some of your ideas!!
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