Monday, June 11, 2012

Current Events #1

I have always loved the organ, and it finally occurred to me that I could take lessons, so I am! I was a little nervous about it at first because I was a very reluctant piano student as a child - didn't want to practice - used all kinds of shortcuts like having my teacher play the piece for me and then not counting but just matching the notes to what I knew it was supposed to sound like and so on. In other words, I didn't give myself a very good foundation for music in my younger years. And my last piano lesson was in 1979.
It's been a humbling experience to engage in lessons again, but it's also been amazing in so many ways. I think I'm learning a bit about what my students go through as they learn math - especially in the basic skills classes I teach at the college level. Music, like math, is a language you have to be able to read and also something you have to be able to perform and not just "know." There's also some amount of "test anxiety" involved. I can play a piece just fine, but then when my teacher asks me to play it for him, it's like my fingers all turn into thumbs, and I can't see the notes, and I fumble around and make mistakes!
My work keeps me very busy, but I do have time during the summer to take on a new venture, and that's a privilege. I've been practicing anywhere from an hour to two and a half hours a day, and just today - about 4 weeks into this venture - I've been starting to feel some mastery of the little things I've been working on so far. I also feel like my brain is being rewired as I try to read notes on different staffs that are both the same clef but playing them on different manuals (keyboards), sometimes with my left hand above my right - also playing the left hand and the pedals (both bass) really stretches my brain! I'm thinking this may be a good "Alzheimer's Prevention Program!"

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