Thank you Frank for a subject close to my heart for this week’s challenge.
For those of you relatively new to my blog, you may not be aware of how important my music has been to me throughout my life.
As a child, I was a thumper of the old ivories, bashing away, the left hand always racing the right, but I could play a lot of the major songs from the classic musicals after hearing them just once or twice. The tadpoles on telegraph wires weren’t exactly strangers, but it was easier for me to listen rather than read.
My father arranged for me to have private lessons through a friend every Saturday morning, but after two years, my tutor took Dad to one side and said he couldn’t teach me.
‘It’s not that she doesn’t want to learn,’ he said, ‘just that I’ve finally cottoned on as to why she insisted I play her new piece before we began. She has a natural gift, but if we force it, she may never play at all.’
He did teach me about timing though, and I was finally able to get my left hand under control (well, almost).
Over the years, I’ve played pub pianos, club pianos, restaurant pianos, even a church organ (the vicar wasn’t impressed actually) sometimes to the amazement of my colleagues who had no idea I could play at all.
In the mid ’80s before I met Hubby, things came to a head in the relationship I was in, and in short I went to pieces. It was a frightening time for me, but my music saw me through it.
My doctor had told me to find something about myself I liked and to build on that.
I had a Yamaha Clavinova 7 electronic keyboard at the time with the blessing of headphones. At 4am one morning I found myself playing my favourite hymns and felt ‘something’ around me. It was a turning point for me, and I began to get better, feel better within and about myself.
Hubby loves to hear me play, though it took many years for me to feel confident to let him listen. Since selling my piano in 2013, I’ve played twice, once for my Mum and more recently when I was soul-searching regarding Maggie.
It has and always will be my safety valve.