No Regrets — Kinda

Having just posted my Sunday Evening blog on Pianos, a wave of nostalgia passed through me.

Piano lessons.

As I’ve said many times, I have no regrets about my choices in life. I’ve learned from every one of them. They’ve made me who I am today.

But I could have continued my piano lessons.

I should have continued my piano lessons.

Being a kid is hard. No one likes you, or everybody likes you, and you are too busy building Lego buildings and playing records and fantasizing about (for me) dating Paul McCartney or Davey Jones to do something as boring — and important — as piano lessons.

I don’t remember how many years I took lessons, but it wasn’t very many, but it was a long time ago and I wasn’t very good. My parents even bought me a piano, which I lugged around with me until my husband and I sold our first house in the suburbs. By then I hadn’t played it in years and the new owners had a child who was taking lessons.

But I digress.

How wonderful it would be today if I could slide along the piano bench and let my fingers do the talking and walking of even the simplest of tunes. I wouldn’t have to have been Liberace — a simple completion of Beethoven’s Für Elise would have been a crowning achievement in the art of piano.

Or should I say  .

Yet another crown of sparkle in the world of Creativity.

I am in love with piano music. I am amazed that ten fingers can play such intricate music without getting tangled with each other. Or miss the correct keys.

I suppose my fascination with the diligence and hard work put into an art such as playing a musical instrument goes hand in hand with those who can create perfect miniatures, sew quilts, blow glass, or any of a thousand other crafts just waiting to be explored.

I’m too old for piano lessons now. I don’t have a piano and sheet music looks like Chinese to me now. But my love for the creations that come from others in any form still brings a whiff of “if only.” A soft, easy nudge that says it’s okay that I didn’t, but still …

Wait — I still remember how to play chopsticks ….

 

 

 

13 thoughts on “No Regrets — Kinda

  1. I never thought of piano lessons, both lost and taken, as a gateway to other creative outlets. But you are so right. There is something about being “forced” to practice a talent every day that takes away some of the joy of the moment. Then there are those who have that natural talent, playing a piano or painting or playing a guitar … or even sports … that make you say “Why Not Me?” Learning anything new and creative isn’t easy. But some of us learn despite of our fighting the process. Like writing or playing the guitar or being able to crochet or sculpt. We all wind up in the same wonderfully creative garden, don’t we?

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  2. What an inspirational story. Really. Those molesters were all over when we were younger, but were never called that. Just like the men who grabbed you behind the file cabinets when you were younger and trying to make it in your first few jobs. And I think it’s amazing that you have come full circle back to the piano. No, it’s never the same. The process is tainted. But you have risen above all that and learn and play YOUR way now. And now, with a new keyboard at your fingertips, the world opens up even more. Keep writing, my friend. Whether nonsense or history or reflections or contemporary fiction, let your blessings be your guide!

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  3. Oh, indeed — it IS all art! And the older I get the more I am appreciating all of it! I, too, was a young writer, I think my first “book” was about me and Denis Payton of the Dave Clark Five. I weaved in and out of writing, doing a lot in my early 20s, then letting it fade away until I was about 40. Then it was an era of “journaling”, esoteric crap that helped me vent my place in life at the time. It wasn’t until I was in my early 50s that the bug bit me so hard that I haven’t stopped since. So yes — we are BOTH artists. Good ones, too!

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  4. Most of my background music for creativity — or late night relaxation — is piano music. I do know George and like his music — and David Benoit’s jazz piano. He does a mean Charlie Brown album too! Love that you can play! I sooo envy you! I think I’ll follow The Piano Guys too. It’s funny — I just made an Amazon playlist called Late Night Piano. Songs with a bit of minor keys but not too sleepy slow.

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  5. Your reflective post reminded me of taking my daughter to piano lessons for almost a year, until I gave her the ultimatum… either start practicing or no more lessons. That was the end of piano lessons. I do think even a year of piano lessons is time well spent. She plays other instruments, with her greatest love and accomplishment being the guitar and bass guitar. She even taught guitar lessons to first-graders when she was a high school student, and yes, she complained that her students did not practice. 😆 I can play simple songs on the piano, which I love to do. It is a wonderful quick break. My clarinet gets more attention than my keyboard, and that isn’t as much as I would like, but we do the best we can, right? 🎶

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  6. I took piano lessons until I was twelve, which was when my piano teacher started molesting me & I stopped taking lessons. But I never stopped playing piano. When I was sixteen, I wanted to take lessons again … I was really serious about my piano playing. But my parents wouldn’t let me! They said that when I was twelve I refused to practice the piano (which was true, I had stopped practicing the lessons I had been given by my piano teacher because I hated him) but I never stopped playing the piano … I never stopped working at what I considered a God-given gift. They sent my younger sister to Eastman School of Music prep school & gave her piano lessons & private french horn lessons … that really twisted me up. But I continued work on my own. When I left my family house, I left my piano. Years later, it was given to my younger brother, who also got the family home & almost everything else.

    I just now have gotten a piano … forty-three years after I left my parents house at age eighteen. I still love to play but it’s not the same … but oh well, at least I have a piano to doodle at.

    My main keyboard is now the one with the alphabet … the one at which I do my writing.

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  7. I feel the same about some missed opportulities of my youth. While some of my friends were learning and accomplishing magic with a musical instrument I had my head stuck in paints, canvases and note books painting, sculpting and writing about my small life up to then. I suppose some of those musician friends might feel the same about art and writing – I hope so. But I guess if I were to have any regrets it would be not learning a musical instrument. Although I have alot of hand drums and have drummed with some groups locally, it’s just not the same as like you say, letting my fingers do the talking along a guitar neck or piano keys. Maybe in the next life…

    It was comforting, though, when I mentioned all this to a musician friend recently and he said, “It’s all art, you know.” And of course he’s right. So, yeah, no regrets, kinda.

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  8. My mom was a music teacher and choir director, so I learned to play at an early age. I can’t even remember not being able to play, and it has given me great joy over the decades.

    Für Elise — ha! — that was one of my sister’s pieces, but she never had the feel for creating music, and she played quickly with no expression. It was almost kind of comedic. Not the way you want to hear the piece. 😮

    Are you familiar with George Winston? Beautiful piano music! I also have really enjoyed that YouTube channel, The Piano Guys. Some great stuff there. Here’s one of my favorite piano pieces of all time:

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  9. For some reason, the part of the brain that enables people to learn how to type and play the piano is missing in my head. I could barely play chopsticks. I envied those who could play the piano. Oh well, I can do other things.

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