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The Smith Family Piano!

Brigham Larson Pianos

I was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area in 1951. My maternal grandmother was a concert pianist and at age 9 she played the tabernacle organ. As a young mother during the depression, I recall the story of how the LDS church wouldn’t let her sell her piano and helped the family in other ways. My grandfather was a grandson to the 3rd President of the church, John Taylor. It seemed natural, with the music in my family, for me to begin piano lessons at 5 yrs old and continue through my teens. With a small amount of beginning instruction from a cousin, and a good ear, my sister and I began to figure out how to play the guitar. We were encouraged to sing together and learned to harmonize and in our late teens we began to perform. We sang in a number of USO shows, performed in church events, and spent hours and hours practicing music after school. It was central to our healing from our parents’ divorce and later, managing mom’s remarriage. I married at 19, and we moved to Utah so my husband could attend BYU. Later, we were asked by his employer (the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints), for whom he worked in accounting, to take our 6 children plus one on the way, to go live in Buenos Aires, Argentina. While we were there, our piano, a 6’ Steinway Parlor Grand, was in the house we were assigned to live in, and we were given the opportunity to buy her when many of our expatriate friends went home. We were there 6 years and were blessed to have two more children during our 6 years stay. Sadly, our youngest passed away there from a drowning accident a few months before we left. The grief from that experience led to the breakdown of our sweet family. I have memories of all of my children learning to play the piano on this piano. The first one born there and her older sister used to sit on the sides of the music holder piece while I played. The last one would play underneath the piano prior to her death. I’ve needed money since then but have held on to this precious physical reminder of the youngest that we lost there. After the loss of our little one, I worked very hard as a single mother completing a BS degree, a Masters in Social Work and finally a doctorate degree in psychology. My energy has been focused on helping couples, families and those suffering from trauma or grief and loss. I have worked hard but have never been able to save enough extra money to do much more than pay for our basic needs and expenses. I know our piano needs some work to bring her to her best and hope to someday get the work done she deserves. Meanwhile, I am our ward organist, which I enjoy very much. I’ve also had grandchildren enjoy playing our piano.
This piano came into our possession in 1986 in a Buenos Aires, Argentina. It is a 6’ Steinway parlor grand. All of my children except the youngest two have had lessons on this piano. We had a little work done by artisans in Buenos Aires, in 1990 prior to moving back to the United States. She’s accompanied us to Georgia, California, and Utah, during several moves. She now has a permanent place in a bedroom turned parlor in my home in Spanish Fork. We became her owners nearly 40 years ago. We have many family memories surrounding this piano. She came into the possession of the LDS church prior to our obtaining her. I am told that this is an unusual model. The dates inside show 1859-1878. This is the data I have, but I have been told that there is some significant work that needs to be done. The most meaningful things to me about this piano is that all of my children, most grandchildren and even a couple of great grandchildren have played this piano. For me, though, during the days and weeks after the passing of our youngest, I would play for hours on end, many days not even changing out of my nightgown, even as friends and neighbors stopped to share their love and condolences . She is my go to friend, my resource, and an emotional support better than any emotional support animal, or even therapist. I’m so grateful to have this piano.

  • YEAR 1875-1880
  • MAKE From Argentina, this piano is a musical witness to joy, loss, and the resilient spirit of my family!
  • FINISH Black / Ebony
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