Music for the First Year

Photo of a mother and very young son (9 months) at the piano together. Her hair is sandy brown, pulled back, with strands falling across her face and down toward the piano. Her son’s eyes bulge out as he grasps for the instrument. One of her hands holds him. The other touches the keys. Both of the baby’s hands are on the white keys.
Photo Credit: Joan Wilson. Photo is of me at the piano with my oldest son, 9 months old at the time.

Like many of us during the pandemic, the extra time at home shifted my attention. I found myself sitting down at the piano more and more often in comparison to before.

At first, it was all Scott Joplin, his lesser known rags, not Maple Leaf or The Entertainer (the notorious ice cream truck tune). My initial response to the pandemic was to make my house sound like a carnival, a show, a celebration to counter the…