I always thought that I had no musical talent. I definitely cannot sing, that is an absolute certainty. In fact a friend in high school once even asked me to stop singing along to a song playing in the car we were driving in because it was too painful (it’s OK, I understand fully and take full responsibility for this, no hard feelings). In the fifth grade, we studied the recorder and we had to learn to read the music and play such hits at the theme song to The Muppets. Youch for the teacher. But I was just faking it because I had no idea how to read the notes and then play along. In desperation one day I asked my dear friend Cathy to come over and give me a private tutoring session, since she could play the piano and had picked up the recorder with no trouble at all. The tutoring session did work and I was able to get by after that (Thanks Cath!), but I had already decided that I had no musical talent. The End.
But wait, my daughters are both taking piano lessons now. N started when she was five and so has been learning for three years now. B has just started this year, but by watching and listening to her big sister, and also trying to compete with her, she has been zipping along. My girls were doing very well in music lessons, and naturally I credited this to Tony’s side of the family, who are indeed quite musical. I was pleased that my daughters were succeeding in spite of me and my genetic inability.
Over Christmas, however, I started picking away at B’s beginner piano book. The first song was Two black cats. Well, that one only has two notes and isn’t so hard, I thought to myself. What else can I do here? So I kept going, with help from Tony and the girls, I made my way through the first piano book, and I was really enjoying myself. Figuring out the music gave the same sort of feeling as when trying to figure out a jigsaw puzzle, and every time I mastered a new song, it felt like I was putting in that last coveted puzzle piece to complete the picture. It was just so darn satisfying.
I really worked hard at it over the Christmas holidays, and I had even surpassed where N was in her piano book. I thought it was time to turn this into a little friendly competition with Tony. We picked the most advanced song that we could both play and set a date and time for the contest. N and B would be our impartial judges, who would be sitting on the stairs out of view of the piano, so in theory, they wouldn’t know which one of us was playing. I went first and the rules were that we would each play through the piece twice, with no talking and no identifying who was playing. My turn went fairly well, with just a few minor mistakes. I was surprisingly nervous. Now I don’t know if Tony wasn’t taking this as seriously as this event warranted, but he made some mistakes, and then started laughing out loud. He just couldn’t recover after that. I was declared the undisputed piano champion.
ME! Who almost flunked out of the recorder. I am currently the best piano player in our house, and I couldn’t be more proud.
Click here to hear