The Piano Bench

Is been a long while since I’ve written. I’m still in the process of adding pages and design to the blog. I am almost complete but not yet. So I apologize leaving everyone hanging for so long. That being said after I read the post from The LadyBird Magpie from Parkdale it sparked me to write. Thanks Andrea.

The Piano Bench

I’m not sure if  The LadyBird Magpie from Parkdale really knew the whole story behind her piano bench but I thought I would take the time to write about it.

Andrea in my opinion is an amazing piano player. She was self taught. I found she never gave herself as much credit as she deserved for how well she played.

 Grade Eleven

I walked home from the bus stop after rowing practice every night. Once I reached the corner onto our street you could hear her playing the piano. She pounded on those keys relentlessly and played wonderful music. Some music I knew and some I didn’t. Sometimes after I got home and started dinner I sat out on the side porch to hear her play as the music echoed on our street.

I was one of three girls that took shop in our high school. I can confidently say I learned very little from my shop teacher. What I learned I learned from my Dad.

My shop teacher had a huge complex. It was okay for girls to take shop it just wasn’t okay to be better than the boys. So every now and then he would throw me a curve ball and try to set me up to fail. On this particular assignment I had to come up with a main project that used the computerized lathe. He made smart ass comments about making a vanity table or some shit remark about a girly project that I would be better suited for.

So on my way home one night I heard Andrea play but I could also hear the old squeaky stool she sat on while she played. On that cold November night the idea hit me. I’ll make Andrea a piano bench. I’ll give it to her for Christmas.

Andrea had no idea.

So I talked to my Dad about the piano bench project. I drew up the plans and had six weeks to build it. I drew simple legs on autocad and viola! The computerized lathe made the legs. It was a one shot deal. Everyone in class had one turn on the computer and one turn on the lathe.

My shop teacher tried to convince me to make an intricate design but warned me it could snap the wood. I opted for the classic simple timeless design for the legs.

I assembled the bench at home with Dad’s help. My shop teacher was useless and my classmates were busy with their own projects to give me a hand. I looked at it and said to my Dad it needed something special. Something was missing. Dad had just the thing.

“How about we give it a cushion.” Dad said.

“A cushion?” I said.

Dad went to the back of the garage where all of the rolls of fabric were stacked. He pulls out a dark burnt orange velvet material.

“What about this?” Dad said.

I clasped my hands together with delight. It was perfect.

I painted the bench to match the grey painted piano, glued the foam to the bench and Dad helped me fastened the fabric.

It was awesome.


Picture courtesy of The LadyBird Magpie of Parkdale

Shop was the last class of the day. It was the last day of classes before Christmas break. Our projects were supposed to be marked.

Surprise! He didn’t bother to grade them.

“Well I’m taking the bench anyway it’s a Christmas present.” I told him. He already knew that because he always eavesdropped on our conversations.

“Well they can wait till after Christmas to get their present.” He said shortly while he pretended to be busy writing on his clipboard.

“Uhh noo I’ll bring it back after the break.” I said curtly.

The Bell Rang

I grabbed the bench. Other’s followed suit and grabbed their projects. I wasn’t the only one that made a Christmas gift. Adrien held open the door for me and we all walked out leaving my shop teacher standing there with his mouth left hung open.

“What a prick.” Adrien said. We all nodded in agreement while we walked down the hall.

I waited around for Dad to pick me up. The air was so cold that it bit if you stayed outside too long. We didn’t have any snow yet but you could feel it was on the way. The smell of burning firewood wafted through the air.

Andrea was home and playing her piano. The yellow glow of the lamp warmed the living room. I grabbed the bench out of the back of the van and walked over to Andreas. Dad asked if I wanted help but I declined. It was manageable.

I knocked on the door and Andrea had this puzzled look on her face.

“Merry Christmas!” I said.

“What?” Andrea smiled from ear to ear.

She held open the door and I brought in the bench into the living room.

“Only one problem. I need to have it back so my shop teacher can grade it but I made you a piano bench for Christmas. You can chuck that rickety old piece of crap now.” I pointed to the old wooden stool.

“You made me a bench.” Andrea jaw slightly dropped as she continued to stare at the bench.

I showed her the storage underneath for her music sheets and how I decided to put in a hinge so it would stay open while she looked for things.

“Oh my God you made me a bench!” Andrea smiled from ear to ear. She couldn’t say anything else. She was speechless.

The look on Andrea’s face was thanks enough.


My brother knocked on the door. It was time for dinner. Andrea and I hugged and I ran out the door. I stopped at the end of the driveway and turned to see Andrea through the large picture window standing in the same place I left her.

I smiled.

I knew she was going through the roughest patch in her life and it was gratifying to know that I made her smile.




1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Carol Marcoux
    Apr 03, 2014 @ 15:15:08

    great story.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


My Suburban Zoo

%d bloggers like this: