Lindsay Harris Friel

  • Followed
  • Follows you

Edit biography

I practiced for an hour & seven minutes today, according to my stopwatch. 

Worked on G pentascales and stuff that seemed boring and pedantic, then moved over to this innocent-seeming li’l ditty. 

After about 40 minutes or so or practicing, my left hand can do the left hand part perfectly, my right hand can do the right hand part perfectly, but as soon as I start the metronome and try to sync up the bass clef and the treble clef, a giant concrete wall forms between all the right-hand-left-hand stuff in my brain, and I’m sitting there paralyzed, holding down two notes, while the metronome goes tick... tick... tick...

It’s not fear. It’s just like my brain can’t do it. It’s pat your head & rub your tummy stuff.  I managed to pound my way through it, and measures 3-4 and 7-8 are passable, but 1-2 and 5-6 have given me a headache and a hand ache. I even went back and did the G pentascale exercises to try and make it easier. 

At 67 minutes, I made a mistake that sounded familiar, and started picking it out, or something similar. 

After this, it’s Turkey In The Straw, a theme by Mozart in G major (your guess is as good as mine), and then...SHARPS & FLATS! Finally I can get some variety in here. 

I just realized that as of today, this has been a five month experiment. 

2/1 '19 8 Comments
I can play that! I started reading the music in your post and realized, hey...I know that! I love that one! I've had it memorized for so long that I oddly didn't recognize at first what that was.

I have a piano in my kitchen (it was my mom's childhood piano, then my brother and I grew up playing it, and now I have it) and that's one of my warm-up tunes or just something when I don't know what else to do. (I'm not saying I'm GOOD at any of it, either)

I know we don't know each other but I believe that you *will* get your hands to coordinate. It will happen. I remember the exact moment it happened for me very clearly (a different tune, a Mozart something or other), though it was a million years ago, when I was a kid. I remember the day when HOLY COW MY LEFT HAND IS DOING SOMETHING *AND* MY RIGHT HAND IS DOING SOMETHING, DIFFERENT THINGS, AT THE SAME TIME OMG. Something will just click and it'll happen.

Or, it won't. :-) But I think it will.
You’re so lucky to have that family piano.

My great grandmother’s piano was dismantled and given to an artist this past summer. It made me sad, but it made me buy a keyboard and a lesson book.
I do feel very lucky to have the piano. It's not a fancy one--a Betsy Ross spinet--but it's got lots of meaning and memory. My grandmother paid for that thing little by little till it was all paid off, so her daughter could have a piano.

I have pictures somewhere of myself as a toddler, standing up on tiptoe to reach the keys. And of myself at probably 8, sitting at the piano looking very, like...befuddled or something. Like I was all "duhWhA?" trying to figure out the piece of music in front of me.

I'm sorry about your great-grandmother's piano.
Thank you. This is the kind of encouragement I needed.

This whole learning to play piano thing isn’t “I want to be David Bowie” or even “I want people to think I’m a great musician.” It’s about effort over time, having an activity that isn’t about words, and having something where I can surprise myself. I love solving the puzzle. As frustrating as it is, I love being at the midpoint with a piece of music where I have it kind of figured out, but not really, and I can find a way to solve it.

Plus, I love the concept of people making their own fun, playing music is a huge part of that, and I want in on that. Even if it’s just pounding out a sloppy arrangement of Bad Romance or King Of The Road, I want to be able to do that.

I just realized that it’s important to me to be able to play LGBT music. Huh. Okay.
You're welcome.

And I totally understand. I'm doing the same thing right now, with Irish flute. Well. Trying. Trying to learn the flute just so I can figure it out and have fun playing music, especially with other people. I've also been re-teaching myself piano over the past few years.
I concur. It takes time to rewire the brain, but it does eventually happen.
Oh, the rewiring! How good it feels to work around or through those barriers!
It does feel good. It makes all the work worth it.