There’s something about music that is powerful. At least, for me it is. It has always been part of my life. I grew up listening to my dad sing. He passed his love of music on to me. Ever heard “For every situation there’s a suitable line from a song” ? That’s my dad. But I’m getting off topic here.
Last week, for the first time in ****ty years, I sat down at a piano. I’ve wanted to begin playing again but I lacked two things- motivation and a piano. I’ve been talking about taking it up again with a music teacher friend, who has strongly encouraged me to do so. Last week, I bit the bullet and ordered the book. So far so good. I took my book in to show my buddy, John. He nodded his approval. And then I went all stammering and awkward. “So, now all I need is…..,” my voice trailing off as I looked at him pleadingly with hopeful Kat eyes. Being John, he was slow to respond, knowing exactly what I was asking/not asking. Finally he let me off the hook. “A piano.”
I smiled, nodded quickly and winced. (Was he going to actually say no?)
Of course he said yes! He told me I could use the piano in his back room anytime. Woohoo!Today will be my fourth day of playing. He advised me to start back at the very beginning and that’s what I’ve been doing. It hasn’t been easy but I feel it coming back to me day by day. There are some times when my fingers just refuse to cooperate and I do get frustrated. I might be a little tough on myself. And I’m self-conscious as all get out! (Every time John pops in, my hands freeze. He says he’s not listening but I don’t believe him.)
I wanted to start playing the piano for a few reasons. One was that I couldn’t ignore that itch, after listening to my kids play their instruments for the past 15 years. (I know, it’s been a long itch to ignore but 3 busy kids and life were a huge factor.) Another was that in exactly one month’s time, my husband and I will be empty nesters. I will have time. Next, there is the creative outlet. While I have my writing, it is often music that inspires me to write. I’m hoping that playing with ignite my thought process and soon I’ll be back in the writing saddle again. (And that sentence, if nothing else, should speak to how badly I need something!!!)
And then there’s the calming effect. When I played the piano
way back , I remember it serving a dual purpose, outside of the obvious benefits from learning to play an instrument. It could be an escape when things just got to be too much. Concentrating on what I was playing would take my mind off everything. Playing also allowed my mind to wander. When I played songs that I knew by heart, I was able to just let go and let my thoughts go wherever they wanted. Regardless of how I felt going into a practice session, I came out much more relaxed. I sure could use some of that right now.
I think it’s important for a person to have that outlet. It doesn’t necessarily have to be creative. Whether its building something, organizing your office, painting….. just to have that thing. I believe that it helps to keep you grounded and keep life in perspective.
Today I will be finishing up Book 1 and tackling the first song in my Greatest Hits book- Love Me Tender by Elvis Presley. We’ll see how it goes. And while I’m practicing, I can also work on mastering my claustrophobia.
What do you do to relax, rewind, rejuvenate?