Piano Lessons Can Be Murder! Readers Beware, we are back for another scare. After a short break here we are with the next in line for my Goosebumps series.
Original 1993 Summary
Practice til you drop…dead
When Jerry finds a dusty old piano in the attic of his new house, his parents offer to pay for lessons. At first, taking piano seems like a cool idea. But there’s something creepy about Jerry’s piano teacher, Dr. Shreek. Something really creepy.
Something Jerry can’t quite put his finger on. Then Jerry hears the stories. Terrifying stories. About the students at Dr. Shreek’s music school. Students who went in for a lesson… and never came out.
Kicking It With Chopin
Readers Beware, we are back for another scare. After a short break here we are with the next in line for my Goosebumps series. Piano Lessons Can Be Murder was always one of my favorites as my Aunt took piano lessons and I longed to be able to play like the teacher.
I made it as far as Heart and Soul and then life intervened. This book came out originally in November of 1993 and the first thing that struck me was the cover.
It was graced with a disembodied pair of hands and a tagline that poked fun at a quote from the movie Casablanca. “Play it again, Hands.” Piano Lessons Can Be Murder drew me in and the story was most certainly an entertaining tale of caution.
Jerry Hawkins and his family have just moved into a new home in the town of New Goshen. It is an older house and full of rooms that beg for Jerry to explore them. It doesn’t take him long to discover an old piano in one of the rooms, to his surprise it is in good condition and plays well.
His first night in the house, however, a sorrowful melody can be heard, upon inspection though Jerry finds no one there. The next day his Dad decides to support him in his passions and not only has the piano brought into the living room but also signs Jerry up for piano lessons.
Using an ad from the local paper, his parents invite the local teacher from a music institution over. Enter Dr. Shreek, who comes off a bit obsessive of Jerry’s hands but seems nice.
The next day when he goes to school, Jerry meets a young lady names, Kim Li Chin. Her specialty is the violin but the friendly conversation ends when Jerry mentions his lessons that he will be taking with Dr. Shreek. Kim who is his new neighbor to top it all off becomes frightened at the mention of Shreek and runs off.
The stories surrounding Dr. Shreek’s school are the stuff of nightmares, students going in but never coming out. Jerry is still being haunted by a handless ghost girl desperate to warn him off. But the thing is… will Jerry be able to escape a school bent on having him stay…forever?
Should Have Picked Up A Guitar
The caption is actually humorous to me because a fun fact about this book is that the instrument was originally supposed to be a guitar.
This is because R.L. Stine’s son at the time this book was being created was learning to play the guitar. However, being told that guitars were not scary, Stine changed the instrument was changed to a piano.
This book was a blast to review and reminded me of good memories. I enjoyed the second read and honestly, it held up to time quite nicely.
Keep a close eye though if you hear a melody coming your way. Someone is watching over you who may not have the best of intentions and may leave you in stitches. Muahahaha!
This one gets a 9 out of 10 from me and I fully look forward to our next book, The Werewolf Of Fever Swamp. It sounds like a Howling good time! Until next time readers, stay scary!