I had a piano lesson scheduled this afternoon, but it conflicted with a Scholarship Day event I wanted to attend.
I could have rescheduled. But my year of living on the keyboard is drawing to an end, and I’m afraid the stress of the last few weeks of the semester wouldn’t give me much focus. Although it would be fun to continue, I knew I was stalling. My wife had agreed to a year of lessons, and I’m in my 13th month. So instead of rescheduling, I thought the time was right, with the end of the month looming, to face the music, or turn away from it, so to speak. My four seasons of piano lessons have come and gone.
You can’t learn to play the piano in a year, not if you are living any kind of other busy life or are not unusually blessed with some special musical gift (and I am not). But I do think the year of studying piano has taught me some lessons. Partly, I’m sure, humility and added respect for people who can pick out a tune.
I’m also a bit better at hand bells than I was—my timing and knowledge of other notes besides G and A have improved my bell playing.
My piano teacher, the gentleman who provides lessons to MMU students, was kind, patient and very instructive. I appreciate his insightful ability to make suggestions that would help an old dog like me learn a few new tricks.
If you are an MMU student or know some people who are, and you or they wonder if piano lessons are worth the time and cost, I would say “yes.” You’re far better off learning a bit while you’re young, rather than waiting, as I did, until my fifth decade. And you could not ask for a nicer teacher.
Well, I hope I’ve given my brain a good workout. I worry that all my keyboard knowledge will quickly atrophy, and I’m hoping it’s in the stars for me to again tickle the ivories in the future. I still have my mother’s piano, and it’s been good to have it make some noise. In a few years, if I had stuck with it and if I also had that piano tuned and fixed, I suppose “noise” might have turned into music.
Maybe it still will but just not now. Now is time to buckle down and battle my way to the end of another busy spring semester, and then start thinking about next year, which includes yet another fall faculty series.
Well, thanks, Tony, for all your help this year. I enjoyed our conversations almost more than the lessons, and even the lessons, which felt now and then like they were melting my brain, were fun.
So we fade out, trail off; let that note softly fall silent. Only for now, I hope.