Move Over Liberace!
I can’t remember when we got the piano. It was an old upright. The sort you might see in a pub back in the fifties. I’ve no idea where it came from either or why we got it. Mother had played as a child apparently but had never given me the impression that it was something that was missing in her life that needed replacing.
Anyway, we got this piano. I was involved in music through school. I sang in the choir & played the recorder so I could read music. I remember not going near the piano. I think I can remember Mother telling me to stay away but that’s not a clear memory. For some reason, one holiday when everyone was out I decided that I wanted to play the piano. It was easy after all. You saw people on the TV all the time just running their fingers across the keys.
I had a go but of course it didn’t take long for me to realise that I didn’t know which musical note applied to which key. If only I could see that, I’d be off. So, with a yellow permanent marker in hand, I found middle ‘C’ & wrote the letters on the white keys. At this early point of my piano playing career, the black notes were not of concern!
I could ask you to write the paragraph entitled ‘Mother came home and…’ I truly don’t remember much other than her being very cross. I never went near the piano again!
Fast forward 40 years to my retirement. I had 6 months planning time between the decision to leave & actually going. People were envious & asked what I was going to do with my time. I truly didn’t know. I had spent the last 13 years concentrating on my headship. Somehow there never seemed enough justifiable time to spend on ‘me’ things. School was my life & I was totally immersed in it. However, the one thing I was certain of- I was going to learn to play the piano so move over Liberace!
To help get me started, we bought a keyboard before I retired. It is a very fine one! I have books as well – teach-yourself & music you love – type books. I had a go. I really thought that I would be able to slot straight into it. A friend’s husband is a pianist & he offered to come & give me some lessons. Suddenly I was back in the world of school. Suddenly I was faced with not being the teacher but the learner. Suddenly I heaped truck-fulls of pressure on myself. After all, this was something I said I was going to do. There would be an expectation out there that I would be a pianist!
Well, it all ended in tears & I had to put the key board away where I couldn’t see it. It turned out that this was all part of an anxious period triggered by my retirement which I will leave for another post. Suffice to say the piano is still waiting for me to return. I was tempted to get the old yellow marker out again (!) but will wait until my emotional psyche is ready. So…playing the piano is a skill I INTEND to learn!
Perhaps I should have learnt as a child? would it have made any difference? Did you learn & still play?
This post has been written for Week #20 of Josie’s Writing Workshop Prompt 3 – What skill would you love to learn?
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