This Old Dog Relearns an Old Trick

Long, long ago (which, in my inner monologue, used to be followed by “in a galaxy far, far away” but now conjures up a mental performance of this tune thanks to my Suzuki-violin-playing children), I played the piano.

I was not particularly good at piano, but I wasn’t bad, either, especially if you consider that I pretty much taught myself.  I did take lessons for a couple of years, but my teacher was uninspired and uninspiring (and probably a pedophile, a word I didn’t know at the time but he SKEEVED ME OUT even at age 13, so it’s very likely.)  Many years of band had taught me how to read music, and I used that to figure out some Christmas songs and some popular tunes (like selections from the Peter, Paul and Mary songbook and Phantom of the Opera).  I even learned how to play Für Elise, though mostly incorrectly.  At least it was recognizable, albeit painful to listen to if you knew anything about Beethoven.

S9 has been taking lessons since earlier this year, and we like her teacher very, very much.  At a recent lesson, it came up that N had two adult students.  And it occurred to me that, since I was spending all this time at a piano lesson, anyway, maybe I ought to revisit my old instrument.  I still poke at it periodically, and have learned the piano accompanyment parts to O7’s violin pieces to help her practice.  So N agreed to take me on as a student.

My first lesson was Friday.  I practiced daily for nearly two weeks to get the rusty joints of my fingers able to move properly.  I played some scales, dusted off Für Elise and a Bach Gavotte, and worked through Book 1 of the Thompson Piano book. All my work meant simply that I did not humiliate myself at N’s piano.

She was very kind and pointed out some glaring errors (mostly fingerings, but also a few technical mistakes) in the Beethoven and suggested I practice at a very slow tempo the two sections I was having the most difficulty with.  We ran through the Bach and she suggested the same.  She also went over scales, chords and arpeggios.  I knew what those were but did not have the proper fingerings for them.  This week, I’ll need to practice C major and chromatic scales over four octaves, two hands, five times a day.  Carpal tunnel, here I come!  😉




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