There are so many reasons to play a musical instrument, but in the story of her unbelievable life, the Times gives one of the best ever known. As a Jewish woman enmeshed in the horror of the Holocaust, she lived through that madness because she would not let go of a lifeline named Chopin. She spent hundreds of hours learning his Etudes.
"They are very difficult," she said in an interview in 2010. "I thought if I learned them they would save my life." And of course they did.
The days when every middle-class parlor had a piano as its centerpiece are long gone. I read about a business on Long Island whose sole job is to destroy old, unwanted pianos and recycle them. But what we can take into our hands we can hold deep in our hearts.
And sometimes they can save our lives.