Thursday, December 4, 2008

Playing the Plano (Huh?)

By no stretch of the imagination could I be considered a piano player (in fact, a real piano player would know that no one is a "piano player" . . . if they are anything, they are a "pianist"). My mom taught me a few basics when I was little -- middle C, sharps and flats, and I picked things out from there on my own. I still know nothing about rests or quarter notes or anything. This means that even if a song is simple, if I don't already know the melody, I will play it all wrong, and sometimes I only play the right hand.
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Despite all this, I quite enjoy sitting down occasionally to plunk out a few halting little tunes. At no other time is this more true than at Christmas time. I truly love Christmas music. I have been quite lonely for my boxed up Christmas CDs (though very grateful to Shannon for making me some copies of hers -- oops, now she will be arrested. Sorry Shan!). But, playing Christmas music on the piano is just as happy for me (even if I play far too slowly for anyone to sing along). In fact the entire reason we ever bought a piano to begin with (as my skill certainly didn't warrant it) was that Christmas was approaching and it made me long ever so much for a piano to play some holiday music on. I love all the traditional songs, and lately I have been especially fond of a few less common ones that make me happy -- Coventry Carol; Still, Still, Still; and Bring a Torch Jeanette Isabella.

Here is the trouble: I always seem to have a toddler about, and toddlers do not allow you to play the piano. Here is how it goes down with Penny: I make sure she is occupied so I can sneak off to the piano. Before I manage to finish the first line of any song, she is at my side. Initially she pounds on the loud lower keys while I try to continue hearing the melody of my tune over hers. But, before long, she demands to be on my lap. So she pounds on the keys right where I am playing as I hold her with my left arm and try to play the melody around her fingers with my right hand. Soon this isn't even good enough for her and she angrily begins pushing my hand out of the way altogether. If, I do manage to sneak in a few notes she simply changes tactics and grabs the sheet music off of the piano. This is all so familiar to me because each and every child has done something similar, and next year will be no different as I will have another 1 year old (unless of course I am simply still pregnant!! At this point I feel like I very well may just stay pregnant forever).
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Anyway, I sure wish I could quietly and haltingly (but ever so happily) play some Christmas piano music!!

4 comments:

Kelly said...

Nance, I am taking piano lessons this year and it is a self-awakening experience. I have had to have "practice classes" where I have to play with a bunch of 7 year olds and other kids (including Ben). It is the most nerve racking thing I have done in a long time! My heart races, palms sweat and my fingers just start playing random notes. It sounds like fun doesn't it?

I really want to get to the point where I can play some primary songs for FHE and not have to say, "Sing with the music!" because I am playing too slow.

Perla said...

good luck with that. you can come play at my house and i will hold penny while she screams and reaches for you. would that be any better?

Nancy said...

Nice job Kell! Seriously, you are inspiring me because I have this dumb deep seeded feeling in me that it is too late for me to learn or try anything new. how lame is that? What, you can't learn any new talents after 15? Good job on the piano!

Liz said...

Still, still, still has to be one of the best christmas songs ever. Please record your playing and post it right away so I can hear it! Penny's tinkering included.

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