I took piano lessons for seven years when I was a kid and generally hated it. Piano teachers who insisted on perfect fingering and ramrod straight posture, endless–and mindless–scales up and down the keyboard over and over again, forced practicing nearly every dang day (sorry I was such a brat, Dad), and humiliating piano recitals. It’s a wonder I survived to tell the tale.
But survive I did. Moreover, I regretted quitting almost from the day of my last lesson and have thought numerous times about how wonderful it would be to start again. I just never managed to get around to making it happen. Until now. Finally, 38 years later, I’m once again at the keyboard, taking lessons…of my own volition…even paying for it out of my own pocket…and I’m loving it. LOVING IT! Don’t get me wrong, I still suck, but I don’t care. I really don’t. Making music is a magical power even when the music is lousy.
In my defense, some of the lousy is due to the fact that my piano is waaaay out of tune and some of the keys are sticking, but the piano tuner is coming. I know I may be singing a different tune after he gets here and I can no longer blame the piano for the strange sounds and missed notes, but I don’t think so. I can make music! Really. Whole songs that Tom, Brian, and Dad have all said they enjoy hearing me play. Of course, they’re a biased (and captive) audience, but still. Music! That I’m making! All by myself!
Luckily for me, I’ve found a wonderful piano teacher who is not only talented and knowledgeable, but also extremely patient and kind. Even better, she’s willing to make allowances–bend the rules, if you will–for her “non-traditional” students. Translation: no scales. Oh, and did I mention that she’s patient? AND she said I don’t have to participate in the piano recitals if I don’t want to. Suuuu-weeet! On the downside, she doesn’t give her “non-traditional” students stickers when they’ve mastered a piece. Sigh.
So why am I telling you this? Because I want to challenge you to do something you’ve wanted to do for a long time. Now that you’re an adult, you can do things you’ve been dreaming about and do them just for fun. At this point, no one will expect you to become an expert. No one will expect you to get a college scholarship or turn your passion into a career. You can just follow your passion for the pure enjoyment of it. In other words, you’re free to be totally stink-o and totally happy being totally stink-o. You get to call the shots! Go on. I dare you. Then write and tell me what you’re doing.
5 responses to “Tickling the Ivories…”
Call it as you will MB, it is worth all the effort. Hours of self enjoyment at the keyboard. Experience speaking here.
The Queen Mary Twosome rides again! I can see us on our next cruise, Mary. Me lecturing on my latest novel, you tickling the ivories in the piano bar. And we won’t have to sleep in the crew’s quarters! MM
You are funny and positive and something lead me to you today. Now, I would love for you to contact me as I don’t see a way to contact you. I’m interested in sharing your posts, insights and humor with my community of positive women.
Looking forward to hearing from you!
I read this today and it really hit home. As you know I have been ballroom dancing for a little over two years. Currently, I’m working on a tango to perform next month with my teacher in front of an audience. Well, I was getting all cocky thinking I was getting pretty good. Ha, that’s when things usually go wrong… I performed a piece of it Friday night in front of an audience at the club as a “preview” and boy did I stink it up. Pee-U! I am still embarrassed thinking about it. You are absolutely right; at our age we are doing these things for our own pleasure and if we stink it up, SO WHAT! Also, I am going to go to my hypnotherapist for a session to help me with stage fright. It’s funny that I can talk in front of an audience but I have those old “recital” nerves when it comes to dancing.
Oh by the way, your writing is never stinky..it smells fresh and lovely!
You’re very kind. More importantly, you’re very brave to tackle something like ballroom dancing. You have my deepest respect and admiration. I can’t wait to see your performance!