I always wanted to play the piano, but I never had the energy to learn how. Now, after five weeks at cherubs, “Mary Had a Little Lamb” is a song in my repertoire. Thanks to my friend Anna Brodsky, I know how to play a chord.
The piano in the East Fairchild main lounge vibrates with each note. The higher notes ding with a soft tone while the lower ones echo throughout the room. I’ve been told the piano is wildly out of tune, but I wouldn’t know.
I don’t care about the piano’s quality. Every day, someone starts playing a song, and a group of cherubs stop typing and migrate toward the Wm Knabe & Co. baby grand. (The name sounds fancier than the instrument actually is.) Often pop songs like Taylor Swift’s “Our Song” ring from the piano’s old keys. Cherubs from all floors, all instructor groups and all friend groups shout out the words. Apparently a piano can bring teenage journalists together.
I often end up in the main lounge — our family room which, to me, is the piano room.
When our weekly schedule doesn’t indicate a meeting or instructor group fun, I go to the piano room to work or talk to friends. Or I stop in to avoid walking the three flights of stairs to my room.
Regardless, I end up at the piano.
There’s no need to bring along sheet music: Julia Robbins looks up lyrics and guitar chords on her iPhone. Then she lets her fingers pound on the keys, banging every note into the quiet of the room. Sometimes cherubs tell her to stop because the noise gives them a headache.
We’re sorry for that, but the piano is worth it for us.
It doesn’t matter whether it is Julia Robbins, Anna Brodsky, Alex Feng, Danielle Bennett, Camila Trimberger, Annie Rubinson or any other cherub who finds themselves on the rickety wooden bench in front of the aging piano. Every note hammered into the air brings me closer to understanding these people beside me. The music envelopes any anxieties about deadlines, edited stories or too much money spent at Andy’s Frozen Custard. In those moments belting out “Hello” by Adele and “American Pie” by Don McLean, the room is just a few friends and an old piano.