Flashback Friday ~ Lessons & Recitals

Mocha With Linda has started her very own meme. This is how she describes it:

This new meme’s purpose is to have us take a look back and share about a specific time or event in our lives. It will be fun to see how similar – or different – our experiences have been!.

I am enjoying this meme a lot. Grab the button and the link and come play along. Linda’s theme this week is:

If you have a child in your life, your calendar for April and May is probably quickly filling up with end-of-year activities – performances, recitals, etc. Did you take lessons as a child? Piano or another instrument? Gymnastics or dance? Other types of lessons? Were they weekly? How much were you required to practice between lessons? Did you participate in recitals? If so, do any of them stand out in your memory? Did they foster a love or a hate for that activity? Did you want to take lessons in a certain thing that you never got to? And if you have kids now, how did your experiences with taking lessons like these impact the activities you had/have them do?

I wanted piano lessons. In fact, I begged Gram for piano lessons. Gram said, “There is no piano teacher. There are free violin lessons at school. Play violin for a year, and if you can stick to it, we’ll get you piano lessons.”

I played the violin every single day in school and practiced it every single evening. I pretty much detested the instrument and from the sounds it made, I’d say it was none to fond of me, but I did not give up.

At the end of the year I again asked for piano lessons and once again Gram told me there were no lessons to be had in our little tiny town. I mentioned a couple of friends who were taking lessons and gave Gram the teacher’s name. Gram told me that teacher was far too expensive and I wouldn’t be able to get to her lessons anyway because Gram had to work. Then she asked me to stay with the violin for one more year.

I did — much to the dismay of my violin teacher who was actually a very nice man who probably tried very hard to get the violin and I to play nice with each other. Neither of us gave an inch though and we made horrid music together.

At the end of the year I asked again for piano lessons and Gram finally told me the truth. “You have to practice piano every single day,” she said. I told her I knew that and pointed out that I practiced my violin every single day. “Yes, but the violin is small!” Gram swung her arm to indicate her over crowded, tiny house, “Where would we put a piano?!”

Oh. No piano lessons for me. No violin lessons anymore either — which made me, the teacher, and the violin very, very happy!

I Are a Ding-A-Ling

Our church has a handbell choir.  I have joined.  Last night was my first practice. I learned quite a bit:

I learned that I have forgotten quite a bit about reading music, and I cannot tell my left hand from my right hand — I kept ringing the B bell when I should have rang the C bell and vise versa — and I learned that I need new glasses!

I could not see the staff lines clearly, so I would play every note on my area of the staff, whether it was mine or not.  Teacher pointed out that I had no notes in the second measure.  I peered at the music and agreed with her.  We started over.  I played my 8 notes in the first measure — and the whole note in the second measure – the note only Bobby should have played.

Teacher said, “You have no notes in the second measure.”  I nodded my head.  We started over.  And I again played the whole note in the second measure.

Teacher said, “That is not your note.”  I told her, “Yes.  I know.  I am sorry.”  And we started over.

And we started over ….

And we started over.

Apparently, I cannot count, either.

Teacher took my music.  She marked the notes for my B bell in green. She marked the notes for my C bell in red.  She pointed to my music, “You play the green and red notes only, Okay?”  I agreed.  She said, “Look you have no notes in the second measure.”  I agreed.  We started over.

And I played the whole note in the second measure.  Argh!

Fortunately, I had signed up for the beginner’s class, and other people were making similar mistakes.  Teacher had us all stop, then she went around one-by-one and had us each play our own first 8 measures.  With no one to distract me, I did beautifully.  And, I’m proud to say, when we returned to playing as a group, I no longer played the whole note in the second measure.

Maybe next Monday we’ll work on telling my left hand from my right hand.