Monday, February 25, 2013

Where are those angels when you need them?

There are definite signs of spring (though these are supermarket daffodils, not flowers from my garden, apart from the polyanthus) and I actually did some gardening today: cut back lavender and clematis. I do love lavender. Even at this time of year, the scent of the cuttings reminds me of summer days with bees buzzing and soft air. I also did a little forking of the earth, though this didn't remind me of summer at all; indeed my fingers got cold through my gloves. Still, it's nearly March, which is good.

Unlike my piano playing. I know I probably don't practise enough, but I do practise and I find that:

1. at first I can't play my new tune and then
2. I get better and can sort of play it and then
3. I start getting worse again.

How can this be? It's SO frustrating. I think it's partly because, as I get slightly better, I start to speed up and that makes me get worse again. But anyway, it's really discouraging.

I actually wouldn't mind if angels descended from the sky, took me gently aside and broke the news that I would never be able to play the piano with any reasonable level of ability. I could accept that. Then I could stop the lessons and just occasionally have a wee twiddle to myself. But I keep hoping that I'll improve a bit more, to the extent for example that I don't keep having to work out what the notes are - dash it, I know what the notes are but I keep forgetting, mid-tune - and can reliably play some simple airs without making mistakes.

Anyway, our choir had its concert last night in the Usher Hall. We sang the Verdi Requiem and the Te Deum from Verdi's Four Sacred Songs, both of which are quite difficult in bits but WONDERFUL. It sounded quite good. Unlike my piano playing.

I'm sorry to have added the annoying verification thing but I've been getting spam from people who appear to think I'm organising a wedding or have a dog. No and no. However, the wonderful Thimbleanna has pointed out that you don't have to type the numbers correctly, just the letters - which does make the whole thing less of a palaver. You just type any number (a single one) and as long as the letters are right, it's fine. So wurfle2956 can be wurfle9 or whatever. Isn't that odd, but good?

No Volume 2 yet. Drums fingers... .


  1. I`m not surprised you find learning your piano pieces difficult if Volume Two is about to put in an appearance. I know I couldn`t concentrate on anything, back in October when we were waiting for the phone call to say that Granddaughter Two had arrived.

    Sending lots of positive thoughts your way and hoping that the baby soon arrives safely! DWx

  2. A kind thought. But it doesn't explain the fact that this has been going on for a year! Granted, the tunes have been getting harder. But I never seem to quite master them, or not reliably. Grrr.

  3. well ... i cannot read a note ... i cannot play any instrument (except air guitar) ... i CAN sing along ... and if they are in my range, i can usually hit the right notes all by myself ... i only learn songs that i LIKE and really WANT to sing ... so maybe you should select your favorites and concentrate on learning just those tunes on the piano - become a selective specialist, perhaps?

    Volume 2 is keeping ALL of us waiting, isn't she?!? exciting times!!!

  4. I have been re-learning the piano ( well..keyboard) since Xmas. I find exactly the same thing.......I think I get overconfident having played a simple tune twice...(a very simple tune note with each hand)and then lose concentration. I am not having lessons. Preferring to go at my own pace with a good tuition book. Good luck with it anyway. I only ever got to about Grade 2 first time round when I was 13!!

  5. Written music is a complete mystery to me - I can't connect dots with sounds! However, Husband has a changed to a different teacher and her advice is to learn a piece in small chunks - a couple of bars say, at a time - from the end. I know it sounds counter intuitive but he assures me it works very well. As he's always tackling lengthy organ pieces and has played on and off since a child I assume he knows what he's talking about!

  6. I had the same experience with piano that you're having (I took lessons as a child and then again as an adult when my children took lessons) but I soldiered on. I wish I could tell you that after years, the angels blessed me with "the" gift, but it didn't happen. Still, there's something about the struggle and I'm hoping that I might try again when I retire.
    Should we have a game and guess when the baby will appear? I'm going with Feb. 28th. ;-)

  7. Isabelle, it seems to me that you are just not cut out to be playing a piano. Maybe some other musical instrument if you feel you must, but why persist in something that you obviously are not enjoying after all this time? You sound enthusiastic when you write about the choir, so perhaps you should accept that you were born to sing, not to play instruments. As much as I loved sewing in all forms, I have felt so tired lately I refuse to push myself to continue to sew, and am spending more time stretched out on a bed or couch reading. Hopefully my mojo will return with my health, but until then I'm listening to my body's demands to simply laze away the days, doing the necessary cooking, washing and ironing, and then resting.

  8. I used to play the piano many centuries ago. And I found that I had to learn each piece of music twice: firstly in my head and then my fingers would need to learn it. Then I could play s piece & hold a conversation at the same time

  9. Ps any news on Volume2?

  10. My goodness. I'm thinking you should be taking harp lessons, Isabelle, if you hope for angelic assistance!

    But seriously now, don't give up. Be gentle to yourself. Just do what you can and find the joy in it.

    Can't wait to hear about Volume 2!

  11. I think it's lovely that you're trying to learn to play-I tried to teach myself and found it quite difficult once I got past "This Old Man" with one hand... :) I promptly gave it up in favor of other hobbies while listening to my girls play. Alas, they'll be moving out before I know it-sniffle... keep us posted on Volume2! Hugs!