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'Changed my life': Tundraland helps Hilbert 12-year-old fulfill a dream with surprise piano, lessons

Tundraland helps Hilbert girl fulfill a dream with surprise piano, lessons
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Posted at 8:12 PM, Dec 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-09 23:47:03-05

APPLETON, Wis. (NBC 26) — Growing up around a musical family, 12-year-old Alexis Kuehl wants to carry on the legacy. So nearly a year ago, she took up the piano.

"Whenever I'd listen to them play, I'd feel like I needed to do this," she said. "I could play songs but I wasn't really feeling how I was supposed to feel."

Now the Hilbert 7th grader can hone her newest craft.

On Tuesday, Tundraland Home Improvements surprised Kuehl with a brand new piano and a year of lessons through the company's 'Singing in the Shower' contest.

"When I won, I was so happy," Kuehl said. "And it just all changed my life."

The young student secured her free instrument with an email about what music means to her.

"Her letter was a really cool one because she talked about how her grandpa played saxophone and her dad's a musician and she just kind of wanted to follow in those footsteps," Tundraland CEO Brian Gottlieb said. "And we thought 'you know what? As a company, if Tundraland can help with that, it's exactly what we should do as a business.'"

"I felt so happy and I felt warm inside when [my family] would play and I want others to feel that way inside when I play," Kuehl said.

She went to Heid Music in Appleton to claim her prize.

"A community that's just concrete and parking meters has no soul," Gottlieb said. "Art and music helps to find the culture of a community."

Now that she has her own keys to succeed, Kuehl plans to follow her family's footsteps: continuing a tradition of music.

"I know it's gonna do a lot for me in the future and I'm excited," she said.