Thursday, August 19, 2010

Hakuna Matata

It means NO WORRIES for the rest of your's my problem-free philosophy...hakuna matata!!

Yeah, Gene was (inexplicably) singing this earlier, and now it's stuck in my head. I sure wish I had a problem-free philosophy! Unfortunately, I'm one of those who tends to build molehills into mountains.

Maybe I'm building this whole piano thing into a mountain too. I've wanted to learn to play for years...ever since I was a little girl pounding on the keyboard of Grandma's piano. When she passed away in 2001, she left it to me - the only one, she said, who had ever taken an interest in it. I acquired a "teach yourself to play" book and a hymnal from church and learned fairly quickly to plunk out basic melodies. I did, after all, already know how to read music, and the basics of playing the piano, so figuring that much out wasn't terribly difficult.

The notion of actual lessons got put on hold, though...until recently, when a great friend started taking lessons that were, lo and behold, not astronomically priced. I had hoped to find a tutor for Rachael this fall, but thought...why not get a little head start on her? Then maybe I can help her a little too. So off to lessons I went.

And I remembered a lot. I can find middle C and, from there, any other note on the keyboard. I'm still decent at tapping out a melody. But the sheer volume of notes is absolutely blowing my mind.

See, my background of music consists of seven or so years of saxophone in a group, and whatever piddling I've done here and there since, when I unearth it from the closet and decide to take it out for old times' sake. When you play a saxophone, you play one single line of notes. It looks like this (which is three lines of music):You play one note at a time, press one key at a time, it's like reading a book. It's do-able, it makes sense. Sure, it gets a little fast sometimes, but hey, it's only one note at a time! Unlike the veritable train wreck that is sheet music for a piano:

Okay, granted, that's a lot harder than what I'm currently capable of. But do you see all of that?! It's ridiculous! For those of you that aren't musically inclined and/or familiar with the piano...every black dot on the TOP line is a key pressed with your right hand. And every black dot on the BOTTOM line is a key pressed with your left hand. See how they're stacked all on top of each other sometimes? That's three or so keys all at once. Plus whatever your other hand is doing. AAAAHHHH!!! My poor, addled brain that does quite well to remember the location of my car keys, translate toddler-ese and figure out the recipe for, say, Hamburger brain does not wrap itself easily around this sort of challenge.

What I find especially befuddling is the sheer number of people out there who can not only play the piano, but play it well. This includes people that are absolutely genius, of course, but also quite a few that I highly suspect were never the sharpest knives in the drawer. SO MANY PEOPLE have mastered this instrument - despite what I would personally consider to be monumental odds against anyone mastering it, ever. Why on earth is it so daunting to me?

Well. I shall soldier on. For the time being, I am doing quite a bit better than my six-year-old. If I make it to the point of learning to play The Entertainer - which is only another 40 or so pages away in my book! - I'll have considered this venture a success. And if I never get there, at least I have another large piece of furniture on which to stack my mail.

1 comment:

  1. I would love 2 have no worries for the rest of my day =)

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