Pounding the Keys With A Mean ‘Heart & Soul’

Yup. There was chubby with her pigtails on the bench at the piano teacher’s house, her shorts riding up and the button snap ready to pop open.

Well, it wasn’t actually his house, it appeared as if he were an adult living with his mom. He was nice but would always say the same thing, no joke. “Let me see your happy fingers”!

He was probably in his 30’s since he had a beard at all. Considering my abhorrence to facial hair I don’t recall despising sitting next to him -interesting, and he was really tall and I don’t remember being intimidated by him either…weird!!! If this doesn’t make sense to you, you need to read back posts, where I talk about how tall people intimidate me and I HATE facial hair. (or not because I just told you that).

Anyways, once a week (maybe twice? I’ll need to verify with my mother) I’d walk to his mom’s house, which was very ordinary. There sat the light blue house, neat lawn, sparse, not much landscaping and the inside was also very modest, no funky smells, everything in order, freshly vacuumed all the time.

Yeah, exactly….BOOORING! It was so uneventful. I’m a bit bored just thinking about it now! Music lessons are supposed to inspire people right? Especially children. I did love playing, though, I hated practicing and wished I would have been taught something cooler than “Hot Cross Buns”. If I had to sum it up I’d say piano lessons were um, for lack of a better word, useful.They didn’t last long because I was hospitalized for about a month being diagnosed with HUS. What’s that?  Oh, just a disease that causes kidney failure…but I’m all good now, 2 functioning healthy kidneys, poo, poo, poo.

Well, I taught myself a few cooler songs over the years like Chariots of Fire (I still want to see that flick!) – such a cool song and of course, Happy Birthday…so talented, I know. What I really worked on was how fast I could play the cords going all the way from one end of the piano to the other and back. I’d time myself. (yup, I heard my inner voice too…’loser!’. But it made me happy and what was the benefit? Twofold.

Not only did I learn to manipulate my fingers well to practice my cords, I am now a really fast typist even if there are a zillion mistakes, but man, I’m fast. AND, whenever we were forced to listen to classical music on the radio on our Sunday Drives to Brooklyn, I’d be able to detect right away if there was a piano in the mix…like I said, talented!

As an adult I am still interested in learning to play an instrument and took darbuka lessons – for 2 weeks – now there’s commitment – but loved it! I enrolled my non ADD, non ADHD, non PDD (paid lots of money to figure this out) child in darbuka lessons thinking it would help with his anger management, when in the end he suffered from a sensory disorder, but LOVED it. That class was cancelled because all the other students enrolled apparently DID have ADHD and the teacher couldn’t handle it. Figures.

None of my kids have ever asked to take lessons. I’m shocked. I was given a darbuka as a gift. For those of you out of the loop, it a drum. We bang on it every once in a while but the most musical my kids have ever truly been was on one of these: Remember that? The Fisher Price Alligator Xylophone.

Rocking out pretty hard on that gator my kids made beautiful music.

How did I know when I was truly musically gifted though? When my parents bought me the Casio. There were drum pads and all these different beats to play “Happy Birthday” to. I was playing reggae, doing the samba even the waltz. I was all over that song. In my mind I was Elton John. I was Liberacci. I was Stevie Wonder. Always encourage your children to try new things, be it music, gymnastics, ballet or chess.

Eventually, my parents also bought me headphones.

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