So far this week has been a bit rubbish, but last night I had a piano lesson.
I used to play the piano as a child but stopped at Grade 2 (I think) aged 14 or so. I loved being able to play but the practice had to take second place to O Level revision, and to be honest, it wasn’t really a cool thing to do.
Then the piano we had loaned from my grandmother got passed on to our cousins so I couldn’t play even if I wanted to. A few years later however, the piano came full circle back to me. It was an old piano but it kept tune really well. Then, when I split up with the boys’ dad there was no room for the poor piano in my little rabbit hutch of a house, so it lived in the garage and finally, having succumbed to the damp and poor conditions, I had to get rid of it.
For my 40th birthday I had a digital piano. Much smaller but still a full length, weighted keyboard (so it feels like a piano not an electronic keyboard). I dug out all my old books and bought some new “re-learn the piano for adults” type books. I could barely even remember how to read the music, but pretty soon it all came back to me and I carried on playing here and there.
Last year when I wrote it, piano lessons was one of the things on my Fuckit list. This Christmas MrS gave me one as a present and so last night found me at The London Piano Institute for an hour’s tuition.
They’d asked me to take along any books I was using and to think about what I wanted to
gain going forward. I was really nervous but soon got into the swing of it after a few scales. He had me sight read and play a couple of small pieces (that went well) then we went back to my books and played through some longer pieces (that didn't go quite so well!). For the rest of the hour we worked on perfecting that one piece. I gained some great tips for breaking down a score and practicing little parts over and over again to “muscle train” my fingers and came away feeling better equipped to keep on playing at home and learning new pieces. The instructor said I had a great foundation and I would be able to achieve grade 4 or 5 quite easily. However at £155 per month for a half an hour a week I may have to wait for that!
For now, I just need to make myself keep practicing.