Ah, serendipity. Last week I was strolling through my local library looking for a good book when the words “Piano Girl” caught my eye from the new in non-fiction shelf. Curious, I picked it up and found myself engrossed in one of the most touching, truthful, and funny books I’ve ever read about the life of a musician.
Piano Girl: Lessons in Life, Music, and the Perfect Blue Hawaiian is the Memoir of Robin Meloy Goldsby who started her 30 year career as a lounge pianist quite by accident when she approached the manager of a Nantucket eatery about using their piano to practice before opening. After hearing her practice that first day, the manager employed the musically trained but ill-equipped young woman as the house pianist. With a bit of advice from her father (a working musician himself), lots of on-the-job training, and no small about of risk taking she soon found herself working in some extraordinary situations as well as some depressingly ordinary ones.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who has worked as a musician or anyone who has ever wondered what a musician’s life is really like. It will confirm what the musician already knows and shatter the illusions of the non-musician. The life of a working musician is far from what most people imagine it to be, but this book simply and directly reveals just what a rich and beautiful experience it can be for those who follow the path.