Thursday, May 5, 2011

Piano Lesson

Intriguing Old Piano Books
From My Mother's Vintage Collection

I loved looking at these pictures when I was little
and used to wonder: "How can I get to that place?"

Though it doesn't seem to be one of my natural gifts, I'm still practicing major scales, minor scales, and a little Bach every day, in hopes of making up for my misspent youth. My son Ben (excellent pianist, organist, and actuarial scientist) has suggested YouTube as an additional learning tool, so I google each new piece to see what I can find. This approach requires not being discouraged by all the tiny little children whose parents have video - taped them playing at top speed!

This time, I was lucky enough to find a couple of instructive and non - discouraging examples of my current assignments:

Schumann: Album für die Jugend Op. 68, No. 32 ("Sheherazade")
~ So beautiful and so inspiring ~

Bach: "Invention #14"
Ben pointed out that this pianist may not be going fast,
but he is going somewhere
~ a finer element that apparently I too should be working on!

Funny, my piano teacher told me the same thing!

For additional piano practice tips,
see my earlier post: Scales ~ September 8, 2009


  1. I admire you for taking up piano again as an adult. I also remember some of those piano books from Mom's piano bench. I wish I played the piano but I'll have to settle for keeping my voice in shape. We wouldn't have room for a piano in our house but I always have room for my voice and it's always with me. Too bad we didn't have the sing-along at Mom's birthday party but the time just flew by so fast. Thanks for posting these reminders of our youth.

  2. Oh, how many times in my life have I faced that piano and vowed to conquer it! I've had the same piano since I was 8. But never have I tamed it.

    Lessons again at 23, lessons at 35, even GAVE lessons in my forties!

    But now my hands are tired and arthritis is not my friend. No more battles. Just the simple joy of a haunting piece of Chopin, singing to me as I reflect on what my life has been, and what it may be yet.

    Mind you, I'm not playing it! Just listening, in awe, at the beauty in this world, despite the horrors that surround us.

  3. "Robert Schumann"

    Hardly a day passes I don't think of him
    in the asylum: younger

    than I am now, trudging the long road down
    through madness toward death.

    Everywhere in this world his music
    explodes out of itself, as he

    could not. And now I understand
    something so frightening, and wonderful--

    how the mind clings to the road it knows, rushing
    through crossroads, sticking

    like lint to the familiar. So!
    Hardly a day passes I don't

    think of him: nineteen, say, and it is
    spring in Germany

    and he has just met a girl named Clara.
    He turns the corner,

    he scrapes the dirt from his soles,
    he runs up the dark staircase, humming.

    ~ Mary Oliver