What was the first tangible gift you remember receiving?
That's a hard one. To be honest, I don't really remember. Ha! :D
If I had to pick one, I'd say it would be my first piano. I don't have a picture of it here, but the one below is a close approximation of it.
It was a Baldwin Hamilton spinet piano. I was told later that, despite the name plate on the piano, it was probably more an Acrosonic ca. 1978 rather than a Hamilton. I guess the Hamiltons were more the studio upright pianos. Those of you who deal with pianos professionally, please feel free to correct me.
I did have a piano teacher way back then. Gwen Gorospe was the babysitter and the piano teacher. My memories of that time were not very vivid, but I did recall that reading music came easily to me, which put me in good stead later on when I didn't have a teacher anymore after Gwen graduated from high school.
I played the piano all throughout middle school and high school. I do remember when I was in... maybe it was high school? I don't remember... some of my band friends had asked me to accompany them on the piano. (I think they were mostly woodwind players...) I know how important it is to have a strong accompanist when you're a soloist, and I only hope I didn't lead them astray.
I stopped playing when I was in college, so the piano stayed in place, unplayed most of the time. I didn't start playing again until after I finished all my education, and then it became a haven for me. By that time, I was learning how to play the organ, and music became my refuge. Whenever I needed a break, or whenever I had some energy I needed to work off, I'd head for a church near me, slip in, and play the organ for a bit. Sometimes, I'd also play some piano pieces I hadn't played in years.
I'll be seeing the old Baldwin piano later on this month. My mum rang me up the other day, telling me my 10-year-old nephew wants to learn how to play the piano. So I'll find some Piano Adventures books and give him a start. I certainly hope my brother and sister-in-law will be able to find him a teacher so he could continue should he want to do so after I return to Durham.
At least I know the Baldwin will be played and not sit around, gathering dust.