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Monday, July 8, 2013

Music on the 4th of July

Last week didn’t start off terribly well.  I got down on myself, and it seemed like nothing could shake my mood.  Some friends we hadn’t seen for a few years dropped by for a visit, and instead of making intelligent and uplifting conversation, I’m afraid I spent more time talking about my disappointments than catching up with them. 

One of the things I got down on myself about was my piano playing.  It just seemed as if I had trouble finding the time to practice each day, and when I actually made the time, my fingers stumbled over the notes.  Here I was, playing classical music for beginners, and not only was I playing the pieces far too slowly, but I kept on making mistakes!

My mother and a friend stopped by for the 4th of July holiday.  One of the first things my mother did was walk over to the piano and look at the music spread open above the keyboard.  She sucked in her breath.  “Ooh, that’s what you’re playing?”

The awe in her voice buoyed my spirits, as did her entreaties to play for her.  So I decided, since she and our friend were just there to relax and enjoy our time together, that I would take the time to really practice.  Not only would it entertain them, but it might also improve my playing.  I practiced the next morning far longer than normal, and again in the evening.  I concentrated on a section each of two Sonatinas, devoting extra time to troublesome areas, playing one-handed, and marking out notes too far above the treble clef to readily recognize.  My fingers moved more smoothly, and the number of wrong notes fell. 

Go on, now: turn that frown upside-down!

Of course, we did other things together, like going out for lunch, taking walks, playing card games, and watching the fireworks.  But the most fun I had was the piano playing.  I feel like I might have actually made some progress with those new sections, and now dare to hope that my fingers may regain more of my former dexterity.  Not only am I looking forward to practicing again each day, but my outlook on life in general has improved. 

If something is important to you, you must make it a priority, and devote the time necessary to pursue it properly.  At least, that’s a lesson I learned over the holiday weekend.  What did you learn?

Dragon Dave

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