Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star
You know all the articles in the magazines that tell us to continue to exercise our brains and to learn new stuff? No? Then you’re probably not as old as I am. In every AARP magazine, there’s an article that cites how brain health can be helped by doing crossword puzzles, using your non-dominant hand to push buttons or eat, learning new games, etc. In that vein, I decided to learn to play the piano.
I have always wanted to learn to play but, having lived in an apartment house for the first 30 years of my life, it didn’t seem like a viable option. The fiddle would’ve been an easier fit. However, when I was pregnant with Lewis (he’s now 41), I took group lessons and miraculously mastered “Love Story.” To this day, I have no idea how I learned it or whether I also learned to read music. I cannot play it now. I had used a friend’s piano on loan (they were moving to CA and would send for it when they were settled) and played for about a year until the piano got reclaimed.
In December, my daughter and I went on our annual retreat to Kripalu Yoga Center and took a workshop with a “life coach.” (Who knew you needed a coach to get you through life?). She asked us to respond to the following question: If you knew you wouldn’t fail, what would you want to accomplish? I answered without hesitation: play the piano.
I put a sticky note in my calendar when I returned home that said “piano lessons” to remind me to follow through. I moved that note through December, January, February, March and April.
In March I took a course on the Great American Songbook at our local community college. The instructor, Dr. Joe, a music director at a local church and professional jazz pianist, was truly inspiring! Finally, 3 weeks ago, I started lessons! My wonderful and patient teacher, Sue, (a friend) happened to have an electric keyboard in her attic that she is letting me borrow until I
commit to buying my own or a piano. I can’t tell you how thrilled I am to play a simple ditty or that I can actually do something with my left hand that’s different from what I’m doing with the right. It’s challenging, it’s fun and it’s rewarding. And you’re all invited to my first recital!