Meet my newest friend: the Yamaha Clavinova CVP-30 digital piano!
It’s here because last weekend, as I listened to my grandma’s favorite music, I decided that it was finally time to bring musicmaking back into my life.
I learned music with piano lessons throughout elementary school, followed by flute and saxophone. In high school I played in marching band, symphonic band, jazz band, pit orchestra, pep band, solo & ensemble, and regional honors bands.
In college I took one semester of jazz band, but soon was overwhelmed by other studies (and intimidated by the skill of actual music majors) and gave it up. A few years after graduation I resolved to pick up guitar. I practiced steadily for a couple months, but then injured a hand in gymnastics and lost all momentum.
My favorite musical memories are of my family gathering around the piano each Christmas to sing carols. Grandma always accompanied us, fluidly transposing songs into the best key for the carolers’ vocal ranges. My mom and sister and I are nowhere near as talented, but we’ve kept up the tradition by playing guitar and flute and piano together.
Last weekend, I decided I never want to let music fade from my life. So I browsed through Craigslist until I found an electric piano with a full 88 keys, the same number as a traditional piano. It features “graded hammer” technology, which Wikipedia describes as “a mechanical system of small metal hammers, weighted to be similar to those of a real pianoforte, which hit a digital pressure sensor that then translates into sound. This technology has contributed to the success of the Clavinova as a more affordable substitute for an acoustic piano.”
The Clavinova CVP-30 dates to 1989 and must have cost thousands of dollars, as new ones do now. Thanks to Craigslist bargaining I got it for just a fraction of that.
Dan and I went to pick it up yesterday. The seller was a guy about my age who had been given the Clavinova as a child, but no longer plays often enough to justify the space for it.
When we tested how it worked, it turned out that he and I both were going to play the exact same song from the Faber & Faber level 4 jazz methods book. He remarked that he was glad his piano was going to someone who could play “Misty.” Aww!
So “Misty” was the first thing I played when we got it set up at home. And then I played for a few more hours, using PDF sheet music displayed on Dan’s iPad. I’m so excited to have music back in my life.