Wednesday, October 08, 2008

The Instrument

I play the piano.  I promise, I do.

But, I haven't played in a while.  Like, really played.  I had this performance in the spring:

video
And since then, me and the piano have had a little bit of a disconnect.  We haven't gone through much separation anxiety, and there's been no weeping.  But...I do miss it.

I kind of miss my piano dreams more than the actual playing I've been able to do in my history.  I miss the thought of practicing enough to have a few beautiful pieces memorized and flawless to play for people.  I miss the way I wanted to be so good and have my technique refined... 

Maybe I miss playing on beautiful pianos, and I miss playing in a place where it is so appreciated.  Our piano at home in Chicago is actually a very nice piano.  It is an upright Steinway that was the piano on a Navy ship... my Grandad acquired it off the ship somehow (I'm guessing it was a ship he served on), they stripped off the battleship grey paint, had it (many years later) re-constructed inside, and it is now a beautiful wood with a really nice sound.  

The other factor is music school...for the past three years I went every Saturday to music school for 3-5 hours.  I got to sing in large choirs, perform with small choirs, and play on beautiful pianos.  Every week, I got to sit and touch perfectly tuned ivory keys that ran right into the shiny black walls of the uprights in every classroom...and then, once in a while, I got my hands on a baby grand.  The cake topper, of course, was the once a year I got to play the Concert Grand you see in the video.  That piano is beautiful.  You can't see into the body in the video, but when the lid is lifted, the inside is all a gold color with knobs covered in red fabric, the keys are perfectly light and weighted at the same time, and the resonating sound it puts out is fabulous.

Dreamy.

Beyond the actual instruments, and even though I complained about it enough (I'm serious...I probably complained EVERY WEEK), there was a part of music school that was very rewarding. (Yes, even in theory class, which is the bane of most music students' existence).  There was the sense that what you are doing with music is SO IMPORTANT.  Now, I totally recognize that there is a part of this that is very damaging, and I often have not looked favorably on this all-consuming part of the music that many people put their lives into...  But I'm just saying that it was nice to have the classical music I played be important to someone.

I think the piano is wonderful.  I couldn't and wouldn't want to devote my entire life to the study of it, but I love having it on the side.  I wish I devoted a little bit more time to it, to develop it further and be able to keep playing for a very, very long time.

Part of not having developed to the point I want to is my own fault.  I've never been a big practicer...so, especially now that I don't have a teacher, my playing has definitely fallen by the wayside.  :)  

Oh, piano.  Are we friends?

3 comments:

Hannah Beahler said...

WOWSERS!!! You are so elegantly beautiful! I could listen to that ALL day! Thanks for sharing! I miss you!

katemcdonald said...

Love the performance...hope you reconnect with the old friend.. I wish I played. I tried lessons for approximately one month when I was 8. ..its harder to learn as a grown up, you know?

bleev said...

I bought a piano this summer and I love it... but has been slow trying to teach myself chords! Maybe you should come visit and teach me! :D