The Cottage Smallholder

stumbling self sufficiency in a small space


Old red rose

Old red rose

A  few weeks ago I had lunch with an old friend. She confided that she wanted to learn how to play the piano.

Somewhere in the area (a deep black hole in the short part of the L in our sitting room), I had tossed an M Audio O2 mini slim keyboard and the Charanga Keyboard software training CD. A perfect combination that I loved playing before I started this blog.
“Don’t buy a keyboard or software, they’re expensive. I have both if you are willing to wait.”

Last night I finally ventured into the black hole and within half an hour had found the keyboard and the Charanga software. I immediately telephoned my friend.
“I’ve finally found the keyboard and software. They will both be with you tomorrow morning.” She was delighted and I felt so chirpy.

This morning I hooked the keyboard up to the computer and discovered that I had silent keys. This evening I remembered that it was a nightmare getting any sound from this keyboard. I have worked all evening on getting the keyboard to chirrup, without success.

Arggggggggh! Perhaps I might find inspiration tomorrow.

Until then the blog has to wait in the wings. If you know the spell to release me please leave a comment.

Meanwhile, Happy Bank Holiday to all that live in the UK.

  Leave a reply


  1. Smal Pines

    I was thinking drivers too. I’ve seen the program before – it’s pretty neat, as I’m sure you know. Worth the fix. This is a terrific way for adults to learn, and at their own pace. Me? I’m pianoed-out. I’ve been playing about 5 or 6 hours a day all week for final rehearsals of a show. Whew …. Sorry I haven’t been around as much as usual lately! Packing and such.

  2. chris

    I’ve played by ear since a child, playing my grandmother’s piano, which I have since inherited and although manage quite well, would dearly love to be taught properly! I have promised myself for the sixteen years I’ve had the piano in my possession, that I would, at last, find a teacher.. Have I? Not yet. But maybe your story will finally push me into action!
    Good luck with the software. I agree with Steve, certainly sounds as though it could be the problem. And your picture is lovely. A single red rose; simple and beautiful. Have a good Bank Holiday weekend yourselves and I look forward to your blog when next you write.

  3. Joanna

    I think it is great that your friend wants to start learning something now, I decided to take riding lessons at the age of 42 and don’t regret it at all. I haven’t managed to keep up the riding lessons since I have got here to Latvia but at least I now know how to handle a horse and make it move, even if it doesn’t want to. And as for all the other beginner riders being about 7-9 – so what! It was nice though to have private lessons, which I could afford out in the US.

  4. steve

    Hi Fiona,
    This sounds more like a software prob to me. try updating the drivers from the Charanga website,are you on Vista? if so, try your tackle on an xp/98 machine. If it works on these, you know its not vista compatible. If you still have silent keys,on xp/98, and you have the latest correct drivers installed, maybe the Guinea-pig got to the keyboard before the min-pins got it! if some keys work,and others not, can you take the back off and check/clean the key-contacts?

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