Teaching Old Dogs New Tricks

jet and piano.jpgJohn and I just bought an inexpensive keyboard. I dabbled with piano as a grownup a couple of decades ago. I was never very good, but enjoyed it and missed it. I couldn’t see buying a piano, though, for occasional dabbling. Similarly, John took lessons as a kid. We saw a keyboard at Costco and brought it home and now we’re hooked! What fun! The best thing about it is you can use it with headphones so John doesn’t have to listen to me practice (painful) and vice versa.
The sad thing is, I’m a lousy piano player. (I’m a little better than Jet, though, who thinks the piano bench is a comfy place to relax). I remember when I took lessons in my thirties that I had an expectation I would be good–that I had some latent talent that would emerge and awe my teacher. Alas, it wasn’t true then and it’s less so now. Arthritic fingers don’t help, but I really can’t blame them for all the wrong notes.
I’ve always hated practicing, no matter what it was that needed to be practiced. If I tried my hand at painting, I wanted my first attempt to be worthy of hanging on the wall (which is why I’m not a painter). If my first novel had never been published, I may have simply given up writing. So I’m trying to look at the new keyboard as simply “fun.” A hobby. What a concept!
John, on the other hand, is now studying music theory and playing scales and all that stuff that gives one a musical foundation to build on. To me, that’s like studying math. Ugh. Guess which of us will be the better pianist in a few months?


  1. Brenda on December 12, 2006 at 5:53 pm

    Good for you
    My son bought a keyboard for me a few years ago–I played (badly) diligently until I got on the rush to finish grad school-but do sit down and play–it is in my dining room-love ‘it.
    I took piano lessons when my children were toddlers-for two years-they sat by the piano at the lady’s house (in Ohio) and were so good and entranced.
    My daughter played until her little fingers couldn’t reach the keys-turned it in for clarinet in the band (later drum major)
    My son did 6 months and decided sports were the thing…
    I’ll wish you luck-a great thing to do…

  2. Diane Chamberlain on December 13, 2006 at 2:25 pm

    Mine’s in my dining room, too, brenda. i hate having it there, because it’s not pretty, but there’s really no place else for it. i’m so fussy sometimes! anyhow, thanks for the encouragement.

  3. Brenda on December 14, 2006 at 10:50 pm

    Mine is small and in the corner of the dining room-no one pays any attention…the dining room has a lovely table and chairs, a huge antique china cabinet (we gave our son when we divorced), an old antique secretary…so it really isn’t out of sync…sounds like it but isn’t…
    Hope all of you are doing well and ready for Christmas-
    Good for you and John-always learning and growing…that’s what keeps us YOUNG 🙂

  4. Cindy (ASA) on December 28, 2006 at 10:05 pm

    I enjoyed your comments about your Piano…I think that I fall into the same catergory…I would also like to write…But realized that Writers do not just sit down and the words fall out like that…Writing is Work…OH MY GOODNESS…WORK…So that wouldn’t be so fun…So for now…I will just keep writing in my journal…continue to dream about a book that the words just fell out of the sky and made me “Rich” and “Famous” with out the work…
    And start dreaming of becoming a concert pianist…Playing Mary had a Little Lamb in Concert…LOL…I think that Mike bought me one with earphones so that he could save what little peace and quiet we have around here…
    32 years of marriage, he has a pretty good grasp of letting my voice bounce off his ears…I don’t think pounding the keys would be as easy…LOL
    Enjoy your Piano as much as I hope I do mine

  5. Diane Chamberlain on December 28, 2006 at 11:02 pm

    Cindy, congrats on getting your own keyboard! The earphones are absolutely amazing. I can pretend I’m performing at Carnegie Hall and no one is any the wiser. Enjoy!

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