Most people might assume Schoenhut toy instruments are intended for children only, but every day we discover more and more artists who utilize the toy piano in their work. The latest singer and songwriter we’ve had the pleasure of working with is the lovely Jenna Murphy. After stumbling upon a photo of one of our models on her Instagram and listening to her enchanting EP’s found here, we had to know more about her songwriting, inspiration and love of toy instruments. She may be full-grown but her Schoenhut toy piano keeps her young at heart.
I’ve had my Schoenhut for years now and we’ve become quite the pair.”
Schoenhut Piano Co.: How were you first introduced to the Schoenhut toy piano?
Jenna Murphy: I sort of have a thing for tiny/toy instruments… I first came across Schoenhut at a relatively young age when a friend of mine added a toy piano into her original song. I *had* to get my hands on one of my very own– I’ve had my Schoenhut for years now and we’ve become quite the pair. Along with my lovely Schoenhut, I have a uke and a toy glockenspiel. Together, they are my tiny tools of wonder!
SPC: What’s special about the toy piano to you?
JM: My Schoenhut has been by my side through some rough times, and equally as many joyous occasions! I have it set up permanently by my bedside and, if ever I feel down, I concoct a little jingle, a melody. Sometimes they become songs, sometimes they do not. Regardless, the piano, and music, wholly, is a means of therapy for me. My spirits are lifted and I am able to carry on. I let very few people touch my precious piano, I am like an over-protective parent!
The little keys pack a big big punch. It makes sense — such huge things come from the minds of children. The tiny size is a force to be reckoned with; it’s made ME feel things I never thought a “toy” could. Big projects and notions often catch fire from a minuscule spark.”
SPC: In what ways does this toy instrument contribute to your sound?
JM: The perfect amount of whimsical charm that I’m looking for is added via my Schoenhut. The smiles are infectious when you hear the ping of even just one key. It’s playful, but when coupled with a somber topic or grave lyrics, it offers a striking sound.
There is something so heartening and warm about the ping of a toy piano… how could you NOT smile when you hear that?! It is just so fun and delightful.”
SPC: Describe the inspiration for your songs.
JM: As a musician, I have grown an immense amount recently; the things I have experienced and witnessed have altered how I view and react to my world. I struggled for some time finding a sound I could call my own and be entirely absorbed in. Within the past year, however, it began to spontaneously fall into place, which is encouraging and exciting. As a woman and an individual, I am secure, I am sound; I know who I am, and that is beginning to show through in my upcoming musical endeavors. As of late, my songwriting has been especially influenced by the varying aspects of loss one may encounter, whether it be through heartbreak, death, or ignorance. That being said, I’ve also acquired a new lens through which I see things. Celebrating life and love and the company of wonderful people in a beautiful world is a priority of mine, thus such values will seep through. I’m learning!
SPC: Tell me about your passions in addition to singing/songwriting
JM: I love to DIY! I suppose this falls within the same realm of creating, making something out of nothing, with my own two hands. It’s an invigorating engagement, to take pieces of cloth, paper– scraps of anything you can find– and mold and make it into something beautiful. (I suppose this is partially where the whole “one man’s (or woman’s!) trash is another’s treasure” phrase came from.)
We’re so happy to have Jenna be a part of our Schoenhut family and can’t wait to hear her future works. Click links below to follow Jenna and keep “in tune” with her music: