Saturday, June 1, 2013

Books, Pianos, and an Unsurprising Concert

Today's not-so-favorite moments included . . .

. . .  Phillip announcing that he wanted to attend an out-of-state concert which I had already surreptitiously bought tickets for to surprise him.  I considered trying to talk him out of it, but I'm a lousy actress and I decided it would just be simpler to tell him my plan.  The whole business will probably be easier and more fun now that he knows and we can plan our road trip together, but I was really looking forward to surprising him, and I'm still a little disappointed that that didn't work out.  I suppose he felt the same way when he ordered me the pressure cooker I'd been yearning for for Mother's Day, only to arrive home and discover that I'd finally broken down and bought one.  There are many advantages to knowing each other so well, but it sure makes it hard to surprise each other.

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . cuddling Anna while she sat in my lap to hear me read a book.  I did fine with the first one, which only has twelve words, but after that she chose a much longer one that I was supposed to sing.  There was no way more poor throat could carry any tune more than a few seconds, so I skipped through the book eight pages at a time, then hid it somewhere she won't find it for a few days.

. . . letting Joy stay up a few extra minutes to finish James and the Giant Peach, then glancing over and noticing that she had finished the book and started over.  She was already on chapter six when I made this discovery.

And another thing . . .

. . . Phillip recently bought a digital album by the Piano Guys, which includes a bunch of the music videos they've made.  As I watched the piano player effortlessly playing a piece that he genuinely seemed to enjoy, I reflected on the seven or eight years of piano lessons I took in my youth.  I acquired a decent ability to play correct notes, and learned some musical principles that have come in handy over the years, but my performances always felt like working, not playing.  I stumbled through key changes and challenging passages, and never really enjoyed a piece because I was too worried about making mistakes.  I certainly never felt comfortable enough to just relax and speak through the piano.

I wonder if that is a reflection of my personality, my inherent level of talent, my commitment to practicing, or the teachers I had.  Probably some combination thereof.  I also wonder, if I resumed lessons with a diligent attitude and a quality teacher, whether I would ever reach a point where I could just sit at a piano and enjoy letting it sing.  Perhaps I'll learn the answer to that question in the coming years, since Joy will soon begin piano lessons with a teacher who insists on teaching a parent, too, so they can help the child practice properly.  I'm actually really excited to start.

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