I’m supposed to be on a break but I decided that I don’t care and I miss writing anyway.
As some of you might know (why do I start all my posts in subtly assuming that you already are up to date with everything going on in my life? That is so not cool me stop doing it), I started taking piano lessons last week, after years of wanting to. I still don’t why I just decided to do it.
Anyway, last week it was pretty fine, I did some preparatory exercices and I managed to not make too many mistakes. It was simple stuff and seeing as I am not completely new in piano (having taken some lessons many years ago aside from knowing how to play song melodies by ear) I did well.
This week though.
We started with the thing that was the reason I wanted to learn in the first place. The thing that always mind boggled me and made me feel like I could never achieve it.
Okay I’m kinda laughing at my stupidty now because the way I just said ‘Polyphony.’; it’s like I just revealed the world’s deepest secrets, or the plot twist to a hugely engaging crime novel. Ugh, movin’ on.
Anyway, what I mean by that is that I never knew how to play with my two hands and I always wanted to know how, but I also thought it’s way too complicated and I’d never be able to do it.
Turns out I wasn’t wrong at all. The most accurate way I can descrive how I played would be ‘Neville Longbottom’. Pre-adolescent version, of course.
I just couldn’t understand any of the notes. My fingers went drunk and hit the keys whenever they felt like it, and my hands were unnecessarily shaky. I kept making mistakes and trying again.
My teacher said ‘it was not bad for a first time’ but I was too old for that shit. I know that’s what you say to a little kid when you don’t have the heart to tell him he sucks.
She told me try again, and I did. And that’s where the tears started coming.
I felt desperate and disgusted with myself. I felt useless, like I’m a worthless piece of shit who doesn’t know how to read the simplest of music lines while on top of it all, the kid in the next room was playing perfectly. I was a total looser at that point, and I just wanted to stop and never speak of it again.
Luckily, that moment passed quickly. I was actually amazed at how fast I got so emotional and apalled and a minute later it was all back to normal.
Well, I knew I wasn’t going to succeed on the first try. I didn’t know I’d suck that bad, but I expected myself not to get it from the first go.
I had to promise myself on the spot that whatever happens, I was still going to keep trying until I have no choice but to quit. I wasn’t going to give up so easily on something I wanted for so long without trying my best for it first.
The lesson ended a while after that and my teacher told me to prepare those exercices for next week as homework along with some ridiculously easy theory exercices which made me wonder how awful and helpless she really thought I was.
After that, I went to my friend’s house to study (and I discovered that I am even more unprepared for the exams than I thought) then to choir (oh my God, guys. If only you could hear us. Ugh, I love this so much). Oh also I almost died in a car accident but then I didn’t. Phew. So yeah, it wasn’t until after I got back that I thought about piano again.
I tried to do the exercices again. It was still a fiasco.
I gave up and decided to go eat instead. I talked to some friends, complaining and nagging about how I almost cried and how difficult piano was and how I was a total loser and all that (am I really that annoying?). As I was talking to a certain blogger you probably all know (and call her Elm or something…), I had a thought. One of those deeply narcissitic but self-esteem boosting thoughts I frequently have.
‘Hey. You are you. You! You’re good at pretty much everything you set your mind to. If other people can do it, there’s absolutely no reason for you not to. Come on. You’ll make it. I know you will, because you are you.‘
I have no idea how self centered someone has to be to think like that, much less to actually believe himself.
Either way, it worked and it motivated me to go online and look for people with the same problem, as I always do when I have any problem. I don’t why, is it to find a solution? Or simply to just have someone you can relate to?
I suprisingly found a lot of people with my case: by-ear players who want to transition into learning properly and are having a hard time playing with both hands.
A lot of people suggested this method: practicing each hand alone, slowly, then fastly, then trying each measure by its own with two hands, taking it as slowly as we need until we are capable of playing the whole thing.
I didn’t really give that much thought and ignored it. Like fine, a method. Any real advice?
But then, as I once again found myself in front of the piano instead of studying, I decided to just try to follow the procedure.
(I feel like I have already detailed way too much stuff so meh I’ll just say it) IT FUCKING WORKED!
It took me more than an hour but I finally could play my two handed exercices okayishly, and on top of that I learned a song and it also worked which was SO awesome. The tune is so simple but hearing myself hitting those two notes at once without panicking and producing the right sound felt so fulfilling.
It filled me with hope. Hope that I’ll keep getting better and better as I practice more and more. Hope that I won’t have to quit when it gets too hard because I’ll work even harder and achieve what I want. Hope that one day I’ll be able to look back on this and say that this is where I started, and look where I am now.
It’s true that I spent the whole evening on the piano, not studying a word from the heap of lessons I still haven’t touched, but I don’t feel like it went to waste.
I am proud of myself, and I hope all of you get to say the same thing about yourselves; if not today, then tomorrow. Because we all have some things to be proud of, and by acknowledging these things, we let ourselves thrive and make these things even better.