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From: Vancouver, Canada

In: London, UK

Feels most at home: around the sound of classical piano

My Mom is a classical pianist so naturally my childhood home was filled with music. There were always students coming for lessons, quartets practicing, or records playing. Music would also follow us wherever we went. I always remember the classical radio channel would play in our car and even if we were late for school we had to wait until the current movement, piece, or overture was finished before disembarking.

On Sunday mornings, as I relished sleeping in, my alarm clock would be the sounds of the latest piece my Mom was rehearsing. It was a pleasant way to wake up and enjoy the music while savouring the warmth of my bed.

Many students would take their lessons in our home. Always insistent only clean hands could play her piano, she sent her students through the home to wash their hands. Naturally we would get to know them and eventually just based on the piece being played we knew who was having their lesson.

My Mom would occasionally have a concert to prepare for. As the performance date approached, the hours of rehearsal grew. When time came, we would all head to her recital and witness all the fragmented parts she fastidiously practiced  come together into the final coherent piece.

In many ways classical piano was the soundtrack to my upbringing and my day-to-day at home.

Currently, I am living in London and as I walk to my school campus I regularly pass by the Royal College of Music. One day as I passed through I heard the muffled sounds of a pianist practicing. An overwhelming feeling of familiarity, comfort, and nostalgia hit me as I realized how vividly this transported me to my childhood home.

As I continue to move to new cities around the world I take comfort in that what makes me feel at home is not tied to a specific space but rather a sound. No matter where I may be I can always let the sounds of classical piano make me feel at home.

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