when i was very young my papa had a small cheap keyboard. i have no idea why my papa needed a keyboard. although he never listened to music, that i remember, he was somewhat musically inclined. he played the accordian and "roll out the barrel" to one of the beats on the keyboard, among other little ditty's. i loved the keyboard. i played jingles i heard on commercials and "roll out the barrel" constantly. i played old television show intros. i listened to the little songs programmed into the keyboard and i learned them. i remember my nana coming into the spare bedroom where the keyboard was at and telling me to turn it off. she meant to make it stop playing the song programmed into it. then she saw that it wasn't the keyboard playing, but me. lo and behold, i could play by ear, and surprisingly well for such a tot.
bam. i was in piano lessons. for my first lesson my wonderful teacher----a highly eclectic woman---asked me what i knew. what a weird question. i'm here to learn piano because i don't know how to play piano, i thought. i told her i didn't know anything, really. i played for her "chopsticks," "roll out the barrel," "green acres," and both parts of "heart and soul" at the same time. she was impressed and said we'd do fine.
then we played scales and chords forever and ever. i thought i'd never learn to read a real song. scales and chords with pennies on the backs of my hands to keep them in the proper position, finding notes with a book over my hands so i couldn't see the keyboard, and more scales and chords. forever. then one day she played a song from a sheet of music for me. and then i played it. i READ the music and i PLAYED it! i think it was called "falling leaf" or something like that. i still really like that little song.
i became very good, and more than that, i really enjoyed playing the piano. it was the light of my small life.
then my teacher had to move. all the other piano teachers in town were booked, not to mention we couldn't really afford them anyway.
then the annual fourth grade choir concert came along, of which i was in. while waiting on a ride home from school i was hanging out in the choir room. my choir teacher was in her office. i sat at the piano and played the time away. i played all the songs we were singing for the concert plus a song i had written in the key of e minor. (once i learned that e minor chord i really took off, hee hee.) my teacher came out and asked me how i knew the songs. i told her, "because i heard them." she asked me where i learned the last song and i told her, "i wrote it." she tested me a bit and thought a bit and then sat down on the bench with me and said, very sweetly, "how would you like to be the accompaniest for the concert?" i was so proud. yes. of course i would!
so, i played the whole concert entitled "i love music." at the end of the concert my teacher went to the mike and told the audience the story of why i got to be the accompaniest and then she asked me totally out of the blue, would i play the song i wrote. i was quite unprepared, but went and played it. i even added to it, as even then i could never do the same thing twice in a row. i ended oddly, hah, but i got my first standing ovation.
the piano teachers came out of the woodwork then and i got the best one in town, i think.
she was amazing. she let me get away with things she wouldn't let any other student get away with. we were supposed to have a practice chart and have it signed by our parents. nope. never did that. i tried, but not very hard. she wanted me to play certain pieces, especially ones that capitalized on the speed with which i could play (truly, i think,it's because i've no sense of timing, haha, so i just play fast. but i am capable of playing really fast. so fun.). i wanted to play bizzarre anti melody avant garde pieces. she wanted me to learn hymns. i HATED playing hymns. she wasn't quite sure what to do with me, i don't think. i was a bit rebellious. plus, i think we were always behind on our payments. my dad says we still owe her a payment, poor thing. but, she told me that i had something in me that couldn't be taught, that i could feel the music, and that it was good, so she stayed my teacher nonetheless and she taught me quite a lot.
i got to do a lot of things with piano. i was guest pianist at various churches. i was even a guest player at a very talented person's senior recital, for which i was shocked and honored. i went to a few competitions. i don't think i ever won. some of them were just playing for people who sort of graded you. i also got to record it and a musician friend of mine in denton used it on his album, "c'est cheese."
i remember dad and i going to wal-mart late one night to pick out an outfit for a competition. i don't know why i remember this outfit. we had a hard time finding anything and ended with a blue pleated skirt that i had to roll up at the waist, a big white low v-neck sweater with a blue turtle neck underneath and some borrowed, too-big black pointed toe flats. i had the 80's hair and funky glasses to boot. it was not a pretty picture. i just remember hiking that rolled waist up over and over again. when it was my turn to play i went in and nailed it. my dad was standing outside of the door listening and when i came out he had this little gathering around him that, of course, all knew i was his daughter. they were applauding and i got that one armed wrap around hug that squishes your shoulder into your ear.
and then, sometime around 9th grade, i think, my teacher moved. i never got another teacher after that. i don't think i ever reached my full piano potential.
i kept singing and played trumpet and frenchorn and learned a good bit of the other instruments. (excluding reed instruments. blah. i can't even make a clarinet honk.) early college i got a guitar and can mostly satisfy myself there. i sound better than i am and i have to fake an f chord.
i haven't really played the piano since the middle of highschool.
benji got a keyboard last week to use with his sound design. i still have no idea what the hell he's going to do with it, but haven't quite expressed it. my only concern was because it was expensive, but it's his money so i won't question and look forward to seeing what he comes up with.
again, benji got a keyboard last week, and i dug out some old music. there are things i played in 6th grade that i cannot touch now. i don't know whether i should feel good, because i used to be good, or awful, because i'm so bad now. i've been brushing up. so far i've attempted "invention no. 13" by bach, "rondo alla turca" by mozart, a few prelude's by chopin, "fur elise," of course, by beethoven, and an old favorite, "solfeggietto," by bach. i can get through them, but they are struggles now. going through with the right hand, then the left, then measure by measure then just announcing, "fuck it!" and playing my little heart out, mistakes and all.
i cannot explain to you how good it feels. i'm quite determined to get as much as i can back, and to contenuie to play as often as i can.
yesterday, i played with penn on my lap. i played him right to sleep. i do not know if that is a good thing or a bad thing, but i'm quite sure i'll try it again to see if it works.
"for sale" 15 months 34 38 advice animals anniversary art art conspiracy art danielmiller carissa article audio Austin Avalon babies baby band of puppets baseball basketball bat bike bingo birthday bowling bread breast buffalo Candy capitol carissa Cedric change charity cheetahs christmas city cleaning clouds coffee community connor cookies Costumes crawling cubscouts cupcake cupcakes cycling dallas dance daniel miller danielmiller death decor design doctor dogs duh eco eight months eleven months encouragement endorsement entertainment Ethan events family family portrait feedback fiction first communion flowers food food garden fourteen months friends fun funny garden geek goal gratitude green grief haile wossen hair Hal Samples halloween happy harry moss park heart help holiday house humor inspiration instagram internet iphone johnny citizen kids klyde warren park knitting learn life literature loss love Lucy maple manor hotel margot margot love margot sad mastitis maternity me meme memory mess mom money mosquito mothers day motivation mourning move museum music nana nap neighborhood nine months noise nostalgia oklahoma old red courthouse omg one opinion optimism overseas overwhelmed papa parenting party penn penn summer penn video people photo photo baby photography pinewood derby play playground politics poll portland portrait potatoes pregnant present presents press print procrastinate published pumpkin pie question quote roadtrip sad scary school science fair scones senior seven months Shadow sick sigh six months skateboard skatepark skating soccer soup spring break spring carnival stephan pyles strawberry studio suck sugarfilled summer swiss chard talent show tea technology ten months texas texas state fair thanksgiving the lab third grade thirteen months thriller tip toys travel travel baby tree turkey twelve months twitter unhappy vacation valentines day video wagon want weather wedding weekend what? whoops wish work worry