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November 28, 2011


Dick Davies

Steve, you better watch it. You're getting perilously close to art. I was wiping my eyes way before Esme.

Ada Roelke

Once upon a time many decades ago I endured piano lessons on an antique baby grand.
I was definitely not talented, but my poor nother was determined. I did poorly on purpose to spite her, which was definitely not the case.
She played very well.
My playing was on a par with my ice skating, which I sadly did on my ankles and bottom.
But fortunately my continued fumbling with the keyboard inspired my dear son to love the instrument. Incidentally, if he had asked, I certainly would have given him lessons.
Ada Leveen Roelke

Susan Tisdel

I, too, am the owner of a very old and beautiful Steinway. Number 264124 manufactured on June 8, 1929. It came to me from my paternal grandmother who received it as a wedding gift from her father. Being the eldest of five girls, I was the first to show promise with my piano lessons while my grandmother felt frustrated by fingers gnarled with arthritis. She generously gave me her piano long before her playing days ceased but well after I'd memorized the sound of her playing.
My siblings and I all had our years of lessons and although no one is an accomplished pianist, a deep love and appreciation of music was born in all of us and the piano is played often. It is a treasure not only for the music but for the memories of now four generations who have touched those very same keys.

Dr Kurt Bomze

Thank you for your essays.
At the end of this essays you talk about tears in your eyes after listening to classical music on the Steinway. I want to read a good article on the neuroscience of the above phenomenon.
Any references?

Thank you.

Dr Kurt Bomze

Janet D.

Some of my earliest memories are of playing with my dolls under my mother's old upright as she played. Like you, I loved both the magical tones and vibrations of the instrument's voice that seemed to permeate my soul. That ancient instrument could not take the move to our next home, so Daddy purchased a more modern one that my youngest brother is still using.

Each instrument has a unique voice discernable to those who listen. Be glad that you have the ears to understand when they speak to us, for each voice is a gift from God from an instrument made by man. The collaboration is wonderful.

Steve Leveen

Ah, thank you all for the sweet comments and piano stories, my friends. There are benefits to growing up under a piano, beyond learning to play. As for music and neuroscience, Dr. Bomze, you might already be familiar with Oliver Sacks and his book Musicophilia, but if not, I found it fascinating. All best, Steve

Jan King

I received this bookend as a gift; and I read your story. Thank you. I am a professional pianist and alas, I do not own a Steinway, but have always wished I had one. I do, however, love playing on them. So.... now I have one in my house. The bookend is beautiful.
Thank you.

Steve Leveen

Dear Jan,

So happy that we were able to provide your first Steinway--on the small side, to be sure. Thank you for your business and kind words, and I hope you do find the piano of your dreams.

Happy New Year,



Most people don't realize you don't buy a Steinway piano, you search for it! Thanks for your story Steve, I hope you too will have many glorious years from this day forward...

Robert Johnson Piano

That's the nice thing about having a great love for pianos, you are not limited to only one! I play piano professionally in Kansas City, and envy your sunshine out there in Florida.

Virginia Bono

Thank you for the story that resonated with me deeply. I too have a love affair with the piano. I remember when I was 5 I would sit at our old rosewood piano and play stories I made up of the careless lamb and the wicked lion. I banged and tinkled in abandon and mother left me alone to create my stories.

As I grew, I became more serious about learning how to actually play. When I didn't know what the bass notes were, I'd ask mom, and she'd answer my questions and wisely walk away. I eventually learned how to sight read by playing an Episcopal Hymnal front to back, every hymn. At first, if I crashed and burned, I'd slow down and play it properly. By the end I could play any hymn handed to me. And that is why I majored in Church Music and had a 36 year career as a choir director and accompanist.

The sad thing is that I have developed R.A. and my hands ache after I play. My mom passed away and left me her studio piano from Africa, which is now in disrepair. The piano is my first love, my soul's expression, my delight, and I ache for the fully heart-satisfying sound of a good piano with a resounding bass.

The lovely sound of that Steinway you describe is the sound I want. My little acoustic is a poor substitute. So, I haven't played for a year. That is the saddest thing of all. I miss my best friend and could so relate to your sitting in the other room listening to your neighbor play. If ever we can afford an acoustic with a lovely sound, I will remember your story and be glad for us both.

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