Wednesday, June 18, 2008

I won’t be a concert pianist any time soon, but…

I had my first piano recital on Saturday.

I feel a little silly writing that sentence. "Come on," the snarky voice says in my head. "Piano recitals are for kids, not 30 something moms with a free piano." But, snarky voice aside, I did in fact play the piano in public. Who knew?

A few months ago, I decided that I needed to start taking piano lessons. Despite the fact I had proudly set out to teach myself to play the piano, I needed help with timing, with some of the notations (brackets, ties, dotted half notes, and repeat symbols all were greek to me). So a few times a month my friend Jenny would patiently listen to my painful playing and try to have something positive to say about it.

When she mentioned that she was having a recital and offered to help me prepare a piece, I scoffed a little. But the more I thought about it, the more it seemed like it was something I could do. Maybe even wanted to do. I had the easy piano music for Pride and Prejudice (Kiera Knightly version; sorry all you BBC fans!). So for about a month I played nothing else on my piano. Thomas got so well acquainted with it that he was able to sit down and figure out the first few measures, playing by ear.

I really enjoyed the recital. I knew I was going to mess up, and I did, because despite the month of practice I still had areas that I got lost. I was prepared, however, with the knowledge that no one outside of my household knew what the piece was supposed to sound like. If I could keep my composure and just play until I found the place I was supposed to be, I could keep going. It kind of threw me back to my days of dancing, when I realized that since I was the only one on stage, I could make up my dance as I went along since there was no one around to contradict me. So I just kept playing, wincing a little at the wrong keys I hit, but knowing I could get back to familiar ground if I just kept going.

It was fun. I can't tell you how much enjoyment my piano has brought me over the past six months. I was excited that I could play the piece; it was challenging enough to satisfy my desire to play "real" piano music. I'm starting a new piece out of the same book, and it's exciting to see that I've learned a lot from my last piece. The whole piano thing just doesn't seem quite as impossible as it did in December.

4 comments:

Amy Sorensen said...

OH!!!! Now I get it. I had no clue where you were going on Saturday night. I have to say that I am SO proud of and impressed with you! I think it is AWESOME you are doing this!!!!

Melanie said...

I can't believe how far you've come since you got your piano! You are amazing to me. As you know, being able to fake it during a performance is half the art. People really don't know when you're making a mistake most of the time. I wish I'd been there for your first publice performance!

Jeff & Kayci Bitton said...

That's so awesome! I will one day play as well! :) I would be scared to death to do what you did way to go!! Love you!

Kasandra said...

Becky.....I haven't been blogging in so long and then found your comment. Checked out your blog, loved the dessert poking and so impressed you are not only taking piano but doing recitals!! Good for you. All my kids have taken piano and their wonderful teacher now says none of his adults will play in his recital, isn't that too bad? I would have clapped harder for them! You work harder when you perform.....
So keep playing, how fun....