Alex has been taking piano lessons for a few years now from Steve Slaughter. While we were in Dover, PA visiting family we happened upon a shop of treasures called the York Emporium. Among the thousands of books, records and trinkets we stumbled upon an antique music book that is dated 1886. It is titled Richardson's New Method for the Piano-Forte - An Improvement Upon All Other Instruction Books in Progressive Arrangement, Adaptation and Simplicity. On the page titled Rudiments of Music is says "Remarks. The first principles of Piano-forte playing, which indicate a knowledge of the Keys, and the notes, are the only dry and unpleasant features in learning this instrument; but when they have been once thoroughly mastered and fixed in the mind, the pupil will daily derive more amusement as the study progresses." Even though the book is held together by a decaying spine and yellowed pages I just think it is so beautiful. It makes your mind wander to simpler times and wonder who this book may have been purchased for. How often they played it and who it might have been shared with over the years to finally end up on a book shelf forgotten by all.
The inside of the book has ad's for other music books for the Male Voices. One is billed as War Songs. Price .50 cts. and it reads "The favorite book of the Grand Army. Choruses for Male Voices, and the solos may be sung by any voice. Such songs as "Just Before the Battle," "Tenting on the Old Camp Ground," "Glory Hallelujah," are dear to everybody; and the fine Memorial Hymns are also most appropriate for decoration days.
In addition to the book tonight I made some cards for Alex to give Mr. Slaughter. We are hoping that he likes both as much as we had fun uncovering and creating these gifts.