Roland the Headless Keyboard

I thought we were getting off light for our son’s first semester in college, because most of his classes require inexpensive textbooks or none at all. No such luck. Today we had to buy the Music Composition major a piano keyboard.

His keyboard skills class had to move to mostly online instructions, so students will have limited access to the school’s keyboard lab, and now need their own keyboards in their rooms. The professor provided a list of minimum and nice-to-have requirements and some suggested models, and the school is reimbursing most of the cost of a low-end one, which will help only a little for those who, like us, buy a higher-end model. At his level of piano skill, and with the number of music courses he’s taking, we knew we’d need to far surpass the professor’s minimum requirements.

We do have an old keyboard at home. But it won’t work with modern technology and doesn’t have good enough sound to meet the teacher’s requirements. We also have a high-end digital piano and a 6-foot grand, but good luck fitting either of those into a dorm room!

So we went keyboard shopping today, and after a couple of stores, decided on one. It’s not just a keyboard; it’s a full-blown digital piano. It’s a Roland, which is my husband’s preferred make, and the same make as our more sophisticated digital piano, so Jon Morgan is already familiar with the technology. And it cost way more than the amount the school will reimburse. But I do think he’ll like the one we bought!

Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner (Warren Zevon) fan art

And it may keep him safely in his room instead of in the higher-COVID19-risk environment of the practice rooms in the music department.

I was already planning to drive down to school this weekend to bring him a few items he forgot and to get his signatures on a couple of checks we need to deposit. So now I’m also bringing him his new keyboard.

But am I the only one who hears the piano brand name Roland, and flashes back to Warren Zevon singing “Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner”?

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