iTunes? Check. Headphones? Check.

When I was eight, I began taking piano lessons. Other kids in my class could play songs I knew on the piano and I wanted to do so too. What frustrated me most about playing the piano, however, was the long, painful period between Beginning and Playing Real Songs That People Have Heard Of. Piano lesson books are full of made-up songs that help you work on some certain aspect of piano-playing, while at the same time saving money for the publishers because there's no need to pay royalties.

When I was ten, everyone in our class had the opportunity to play an instrument. I ended up playing the flute, which I never really liked or had the lungpower for. I was therefore always last or second-to-last chair, and always played the 2nd Flute part if there was more than one. Second Flute doesn't sound like anything either, because it doesn't play the melody of the song. I played for four years, but at the end of 8th grade, my mom's best friend convinced her to let me quit both instruments.

A big shout out to Aunt Diane! W00t!

Anyway, as I've previously blogged, the abbey is full of musicians right now, constantly practicing. And this makes me even gladder that I was able to quit. These are people who have spent years playing music and they still aren't playing anything that sounds like anything. They still have to practice scales and play the same thing over and over again. If I had stuck with it, it wouldn't have improved and I wouldn't have been any happier. So yay.

(Oh, and by the way, the abbey is full of musicians, all constantly playing their own individual things that don't sound like anything and I can't escape the scratchy violins and the mooing celli no matter where I go, whether I'm at work or in my room, and I think I'm going to lose my mind but HEY, it's only for a MONTH!)

srah - Tuesday, 6 July 2004 - 5:07 AM

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Comments (4)

gravatar Mr B------ - July 6, 2004 - 8:50 AM -

I think it depends on your talent, commitment, and what area of music you're working in, whether or not you spend all your time doing the same things over and over and not having it sound like anything. A good musician could easily have a voracious appetite for anything new, or be able to at least play something that sounds like what it's supposed to sound like. Unless perhaps they're playing instruments that are meant to fit into an orchestra in which case... well, they're probably going to be screwed (especially the poor celli and basses!)

gravatar Smuj - July 6, 2004 - 9:35 AM -

My first piano teacher was a grumpy old lady whose idea of a piano lesson was playing scales to a metronome for 30 minutes. Not the best way to keep a 10-year-old interested in music, if you ask me. I wanted to quit, so my parents fired her and hired a new guy. My second teacher let me pick my own music, and didn't dwell so much on technical perfection. I enjoyed him a lot more. Still, I gave up piano after just a couple of years. I wish I'd stuck with it.

I also wish I'd taken orchestra instead of band in school.

gravatar Cheryl - July 6, 2004 - 10:24 PM -

SCRATCHY violins!!?!?? Hmph.

gravatar srah - July 7, 2004 - 3:49 AM -

I didn't say all violins are scratchy...

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