I think it was in 2010 or 2011 when I got my piano. It's a Yamaha CP-80 electric grand piano. It has strings and hammers, and mostly I use it purely acoustically. It's quieter than an upright. It also has pickups on every string, similar to an electric guitar, so it can be amplified. It has an XLR out.
I love this piano. It's my favorite thing out of all the things I have. My dad is the reason why I have it and also the reason why I consider the story of how I got the piano as an important part of my story.
In 2011 I was in college at UT Austin. I had a little keyboard and I would go play the pianos at the music school. My dad spent a lot of time on craigslist and ebay looking for pianos for me, vintage ones like Fender Rhodes. He looked at CP-80s because the band Keane used one, and I liked Keane at the time.
My dad would send me links to these, and finally he found one that had a decent price and was in Oklahoma. We drove up from Dallas together in a truck to a small town in Oklahoma and bought it for a $1,000. I paid my dad $300 for it, but it was basically a gift.
That is such a special memory for me now, especially thinking about all the music and joy that has come out of that piano. I think about the hours my dad spent looking for it, and I think about the reason, which was his love for me.
He was searching for a piano for me because he knew it would make me happy. He wanted to encourage and affirm the passion that I had for writing music, and he did. It makes me feel loved. It makes me feel joyful to have a father who seeks out ways to make me happy and finds happiness in my happiness.
There is something so deep there. That is not something to simply acknowledge and then move on to other things. Learning to live as a beloved son is the activity of a lifetime, both with my earthly father, and in an even deeper sense with my heavenly father. I love that my piano was born out of love. It is so fitting that the instrument that I use to share love and joy and peace with others began with a story of love.