Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Part One: Music, and Falling in Love

Today, I found myself remembering a blog post I wrote a few years ago, over at Miles of Serendipity.  It was the result of a prompt from one of those month-long journal challenges (completed in January 2010 and something that I will likely do again starting in March, my birthday month!). I think it's worth recalling here... and adding an update of sorts, which will come next.

(Originally written January 19, 2010.)

I remember it well, the day the piano arrived. It had previously lived at my aunt's house--it belonged to her.  I remember going to visit her and my cousins as a little kid and tinkering on the keys, coming up with these melodies that I, of course thought sounded absolutely fantastic and wonderful.  One afternoon, though, the piano made the trek across town, secured onto a trailer by my grandpa, my dad, and my uncle.  The reason escapes me now as far as why we ended up with the piano but it was there, sitting comfortably in my living room next to the couch.

I loved that piano (had always loved that piano).  The piano was the first instrument that I'd ever gotten to really mess around with, save for my cousin's drum set.  There was just something so pretty about it, and when my mom informed me that i would be taking piano lessons, I was absolutely excited... and, well, a little nervous, too.  After all, this was something brand new I was embarking on... and what about my new teacher?  What would she be like?  My young mind was envisioning a severe old lady who would make me play scales until my hands fell off.

The day of my first piano lesson, I realized that all of my preconceived notions were incorrect.  A younger woman, with curly blond hair and a wide smile, came to the door, introducing herself to my mother and I as J.  I followed her inside and sat down next to her at her piano, taking my first tentative steps as a piano player.  I'd signed up for weekly, half hour lessons; I could hardly believe it when, on the first day, suddenly our lesson was over and my mom was there to pick me up.

I fell in love.  I loved playing, loved everything about it.  I learned scales, chords, simple melodies at first... J. was patient and kind and corrected my mistakes tactfully, explaining what I had done wrong.  She was a wonderful teacher.  I learned and grew in my playing as time went on, holding recitals for my family, playing more and more pieces and songs.  Sometimes I didn't practice as much as I should have, but my adoration never wavered; I was making music.

I took piano lessons from J. for quite a while (years, in fact), until life took us down different paths: J. moved away.  It was a sad moment, our last piano lesson together, but I was happy to have the opportunity to learn from her... she taught me so much!  Eventually, the piano went back to my aunt's house, and I continued to play on an electronic keyboard.  I was able to take what I learned with her and apply it to the clarinet (I played in band from 5th to 12th grade) and, also, the guitar (taught myself a thing or two, nothing amazing or anything).  I know that my love of music, my interest in learning to play other instruments, is mostly thanks to my piano teacher.  J. taught her piano lessons with passion and grace and I'll always be grateful to her.

I don't play the piano as often as I should anymore. (this is a situation that desperately needs to be rectified.)  while I enjoy playing the clarinet and the guitar, there's just something about running my fingertips along those ivory keys, sending chord progressions and tunes floating off into the air.  To me, it's like riding a bike--it's something I will never forget.

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