A Piano for Kloe

by Jane Ahrens

Story contributed by Piano Teacher Kapri Thomas

Click any photo to see a larger image.

“On February 17, 2017, I saw a Facebook video of Talia playing what looked like a decent piano, outside, at the dump. I texted Annette to inquire and she said, “Yes, someone threw out a piano, it’s tiny though”. That same day Bruce Hubert texted asking if I wanted a bench – which he had saved for me – just in case. I ran down to the dump the next morning. It looked really good, nothing blaring wrong with it. I told Annette and Danielle that I wanted it and they vowed to keep it safe until I could get it moved. Thank goodness it didn’t rain those three days!

“Bruce texted me later and said he and “his guys” (Edil Arnold, Martin, Portales and Carlo Castro) would be happy to bring it to my house. They moved it immediately to my front porch and came back the next morning to move it in once I had time to rearrange the furniture a bit to accommodate.

“Once it was in my house I was able to inspect it more closely. Apart from the front which had been removed,  pitched and crushed. I noticed some felt fabric damage which seemed fairly minor. I took pictures of the damage and emailed them to my tuner Amy Tiernan* from DogHouse Pianos in Pawcatuck, CT.

“Amy came out on March 22 and took the piano apart, cleaned it thoroughly, and replaced the felts. I will have her return for finishing touches and another tuning now that it is at home with Kloe. Miggie and Barry Bryan made a generous donation which paid for Amy’s work.

“Tim Patterson came to see Amy at work and ask questions regarding the cover, materials, any specific requirements and took measurements. His original plan was to make the cover glass but that proved a bit more difficult. He completed the finishing touches on August 1, 2017. Tim donated his time and materials.

“And Friday, January 19, 2018, was the big day of course! Bruce and his guys came to my house yesterday morning and moved the piano once again – to Kloe’s house while she was at school.”

Editor’s Notes:
Kapri had invited Tim, Chris Ingram and me, Jane Ahrens, to join her and Kloe’s mother Darcy at the house, and then the wait began, for Kloe and her sister to walk home from school for the surprise!

These photos say it all:

Among Kloe’s favorite pieces are, God Help the Outcasts From Walt Disney’s “The Hunchback of Notre Dame”, which she played for us on Friday as well as Fur Elise by Beethoven and Swinging Along which is the piece from this week’s lesson plan. She generally likes all of Beethoven and Mozart’s works.

Kloe took her first lesson on December 1, 2016, and she used a simple Casio electric keyboard to practice between lessons. Now she has her new real piano. The keyboard wasn’t much but it was enough and it has already been passed on to another of Kapri’s students!

Not everyone has an instrument of their own at this point, but Kapri has a couple of keyboards that she uses as loaners for students that do not have instruments to practice on. If anyone has anything piano related that they want to part with, please contact Kapri. This can be keyboards of any quality, as long as they work, keyboard stands, piano lights, benches or music. Even pianos that may look like their time has come to an end may be able to be restored. This story is a fine example of a piano given a new life with a child that didn’t have one.

At this moment there are three children waiting to begin piano lessons – as they can’t begin until they have a practice instrument. Any support for Kapri’s scholarship students is greatly appreciated as well.

“I can not say no to a child who wants to learn to play the piano. I am so fortunate to have had lessons as a child. I consider a musical education very important and can’t deny a child whose family can’t afford it, any help is appreciated.” ~ Kapri Thomas

*Piano tuner Amy Tiernan from DogHouse Pianos in Pawcatuck, CT, comes highly recommended by Kapri. Amy travels to Fishers a few of times a year and tunes several pianos each trip. Not only is she enthusiastic and happy to come out she is very thorough and talented at her craft! If anyone wants to get on the list please contact Kapri who will coordinate for them to be seen during Amy’s next visit.

Thank you to Kapri for making this whole story and opportunity become a true reality.Kapri Thomas,

Kapri Thomas, kaprikia@me.com; home: (631) 788-7429; cell: (917) 561-5129

Photo credit to Kapri Thomas & Jane Ahrens

Featured Photo

USCG Eagle passing the Race early morning March 18, 2023 on her return from the Chesapeake Bay. Photo Credit Marlin Bloethe

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