My grandpa could play any stringed instrument. I don't know the year the above photo was taken, but I would guess late 1930s. (Though I didn't take the photo, I did add my thankfulme mark to it. The photo is in my possession, and I would gladly give credit to the photographer if I knew who it was. The last time I posted this photo online, and without a mark, someone used it without permission on another site. I felt a little possessive; this is MY grandpa!)
The same grandpa (my dad's dad) in 1980, instructing my sister about proper violin bow technique.
Grandma (my mom's mom) playing the piano while visiting at our house in 1980. This piano used to be in my grandma's house; it is the one on which my mom learned to play. My mom's grandma (my mom's dad's mother) bought this piano, so that my mom could learn to play. According to my mom, Great-Grandma believed that if a girl knew how to play the piano, she would always be popular.
I think things have changed from Great-Grandma's day, but I definitely see the value of knowing how to play an instrument. Many an evening, my dad would take out his guitar and we would sing together as a family. Dad would reference the Burl Ives songbook for forgotten chords. We would sing about the Titanic, the sow who caught the measles, and we would skip to our Lou. We couldn't sing Say Say Oh Playmate, or My Grandfather's Clock, because those songs made my sister cry. (She must have not really understood the song about the Titanic.)
Thanks for parents and grandparents who passed along a love of music. Oh, and happy 4-0 to my little brother!