In Tune with the Master

May 24, 2012
By Creamy BRONZE, Cincinnati, Ohio
Creamy BRONZE, Cincinnati, Ohio
2 articles 13 photos 2 comments

Worn ivory keys sat in a large, bright room, remembering parts of its past. So many times it had been played by a talented pianist, always gaining a burst of wild applause at the end, for which the keys would proudly shine as much as possible. This piano used to be tuned weekly, with carefulness and love. So many pieces had been played on this piano--jazz, classical, Irish, famous songs, romantic songs...hours of hard earned practice with him and his master, the pianist. But one day, his owner up and left him. Alone. Abandoned. Eventually, men came and took him away to a new home--a music store. At first, he was excited. He would get a new owner--one who wouldn’t leave him! But as the days went on and no interest grew in him, the piano sat in the corner, surrounded by keyboards in better shape them he was. The new keyboards showed off their gleaming keys, as if mocking him, pointing out how special they were, how unwanted he was. At first, he refused to believe them. He would be sold to a new owner, eventually. He had to be. Somebody must want him. Somebody must know how special he was, and how loved he used to be.
But as the weeks turned to months, this well-loved piano sat in the same spot, watching piano after piano get sold. All but him. Sometimes, when showing customers which piano to best buy, the employer would lead the buyer by him. Proudly shining as much as possible, he hoped with all he had in him that he would be bought. But the customer would automatically look at the piano next to him. The customers all wanted the better pianos. Soon, all the piano could do was gaze out the window and watch the bright orange and yellow leaves fall from the tree, one by one, until the tree was completely bare. Now, the only music he could hear was the crunch of leaves as people walked past. Before long, snow covered the tips of the trees. The chilly breeze flew in a crack in the wall, making his dusty keys curl up in coldness. As the years passed on, this piano soon lost all hope of ever being played again. Everybody wanted a more expensive piano. A better piano. A prettier piano. A less dusty piano. A less worn piano. After all, what was he? A lone, depressed, dusty piano, with no purpose in life but to remember its past.
The piano, weighed down by all his grief and loneliness, sagged under the shiny floor boards. The dust filled piano became sorely out of tune, as the once black exterior of the piano became brown and wilted. The keys now played sounds of mourning instead of joy. The piano hadn’t experienced true joy in many months--it had forgotten the feeling of joy.

Long after this piano had given up hope, something surprising happened. A customer came in and walked straight to this old piano. Ignoring his surplus selection of expensive, tuned, and well taken care of pianos, he examined all parts of this piano, gently dusting off a thick layer of dust with his wrinkled fingers. An employer walked over, trying to tell him that his best bet was a newer, more expensive piano. “This one won’t last long, he’s an oldie,” she claimed. But the customer didn’t seem to care.
Before long, he took out his cash and paid for the piano. After getting the piano home, he took a rag and dusted each and every key. After years of not being dusted, this piano should have felt wonderful. But instead, it was horrified. Horrified that someone bought him. Horrified that someone might discover how rusty he was. He was convinced that, once seeing the shape he was in, this new Master of his would turn straight around and return him to the store. Sitting down at the bench, the Master played a faintly familiar tune, stirring back memories for the piano. But with each note, the key squeaked. Most keys didn’t press down all the way. It appeared as if most of the keys were jammed--too heavy from depression--to lift up after each note was pressed. Instead of frowning, his Master smiled thoughtfully. He lifted up the lid of the piano and gently tuned it. The piano knew that it would take weeks to unjam each key, get the inky blackness back on the exterior, and to get back in the shape it once was. And the Master seemed to know that too. But the Master never gave up. Because the piano was worth it. And eventually, the piano was something better than any piano the Master could have bought at the music store.

Similar Articles


This article has 2 comments.

on Feb. 8 2014 at 2:01 pm
lost_in_translation SILVER, Dayton, Tennessee
5 articles 0 photos 1 comment

Favorite Quote:
"Not all who wander are lost." J.R.R. Tolkien

I love how you showed how afraid people can be of love. Sometimes we forget to consider other people. If each of us would learn a lesson from the master, and dust off someone's keys every now and then, the world would be a much better place. Keep up the good work :)

on May. 29 2012 at 8:55 pm
bandgeekfreak DIAMOND, No Answer, Texas
59 articles 0 photos 30 comments

Favorite Quote:
“A musician must make music, an artist must paint, a poet must write, if he is to be ultimately at peace with himself.” Abraham Maslow.

I love how you did this piece, it is amazing. I loved how you wrote this, and I hope you keep writing <3

MacMillan Books

Aspiring Writer? Take Our Online Course!