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I took piano lessons for about five years, and really liked them. I only gave it up because I didn’t like my teacher, and I had reached the point where they weren’t so much lessons as her giving me new and increasingly difficult music. so I figured I could continue on my own just fine.
Then my parents sold the piano with the logic that since I wasn’t taking lessons anymore, why keep that huge thing around. Needless to say, I was a bit disappointed, but not disappointed enough to pay them their asking price, and so the piano was taken away.
Throughout junior high and high school, I was in band (flute) and I had bought myself a recorder for those times when I wanted to mix it up at home. I never really wanted for pianos, they were always just around, and so I didn’t mind too much that the parents had sold ours. I bought a guitar after quitting band, which I never learned to play, but still moved from apartment to apartment as it slowly became warped from improper storage.
Finally I realized a couple years ago, that I no longer know how to read music at all. Even though I can look at a piano, find C position and still play the song from my very first recital, if someone were to ask me if I could play piano, I’d be forced to say no. I never thought you could forget how to read music–it seemed as impossible as forgetting how to read words, but I guess if I didn’t read daily, maybe that would fade away too. Also, as someone who has always secretly yearned to be a musician, you can see why this is problematic. Sure, plenty of rock stars don’t know how to read music, but they do know how to play an instrument other than the flute (which I’m not sure I could still play and certainly don’t want to find out). Lacking both of these skills is a huge setback, and I intend to rectify it.
I borrowed a few basic piano books from a friend, certain that once I got in front of a keyboard, all the knowledge would come flooding back. Turns out, not so much. I mean I can still play that recital song, but lacking a basic music chart, I’m left guessing which notes are which, and nothing I’ve produced so far sounds good at all. Also, I take umbrage with the fact that Alfred’s Basic Piano insists on inserting a ton of unfamiliar songs. If I was attempting to play songs that I was already familiar with, I could learn the notes that way. Instead, I’m flying completely blind. Damn you, Alfred!
So, in my quest for hobbies, I’ve basically unearthed an old one, but I’m not down about it because this is going to leave me with a huge sense of accomplishment, and tangible results– for free. Plus, it might make me smarter. Remember all those Save the Music, Music=Brainpower commercials? I could always use more brainpower.