The time I almost cried – but I’m glad I didn’t.

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.

Polyphony.

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.

Making my wish come true!

Today, I went to a music school and signed up for piano lessons.
It was not my first time having a shot at learning the instrument: I had taken some lessons for about 2 months in Grade 4 [STOP RIGHT THERE: I just went to search for my old piano book. After finding it and going through the pages I found out that it was more like 6 months. HOW THE FUCK COULD I HAVE SPENT 6 MONTHS LEARNING THE PIANO AND I BARELY REMEMBER ANYTHING?! I just tried playing some of the basic things in there and I suck so much.]
Well that was like 8 years ago. Wow.
Anyway, I don’t really remember if I started taking lessons back then for any purpose beside having an activity. I don’t think there was, because I became uninterested after a few months and just quit, never giving it much more thought.
In Grade 8, about 3-4 years ago, however, I decided to turn on my keyboard. It had been sitting in my room since fourth grade, just being there. It was back when I really stated to listen to music, especially Lady Gaga, and that’s when I became a huge fan of hers. So I was taking in all these awesome songs. I guess I just needed to regurgitate them.
That’s how I discovered how to play song tunes by ear.
Yep, I just went to that keyboard, tried all the different combinaisons there was until I hit the right note, and memorized the sequence.
I became truly amazed by how every melody could be played using this simple instrument. I even remember that I once started staring at my piano and thinking ‘Omg. All of the world’s songs that have ever been written and that will ever be written are inside this thing. HOW?!’
Well, soon, I found out that it wasn’t really a ‘simple’ instrument. There were tunes I just couldn’t get, which was frustrating. Also, I could only play stuff I had memorized, usually with lots of errors, and I had NO idea how people could play with two hands at once. Or even one hand, keeping every finger on a note. No matter how hard I tried, my hands could not be tamed!
I wished I had continued piano.
I literally spent years seeing people play and being jealous, getting a tinge of longing every time I saw a piano, desperately trying to make myself play better. I have no idea just WHY I didn’t just start taking piano again!
Looking back at it now, I honestly can not explain why I didn’t go back to piano. I clearly wanted it. What was wrong with me?!
But now things have changed. Yes, I can proudly say that I have finally decided that I want to learn piano. I need to be taught, because if I don’t, I’ll always feel this bitterness, I’ll always regret not doing it.
Better late than never!
What pushed me to sign up was my friend Mini. Yes, the same Mini I talked about about four months ago, when I posted about how I joined the school choir. It’s not a coincidence; Mini just loves music and wants people to love it too. I mean that’s what I deduced, you know, after he convinced me of doing both of these thimgs.
Joining the choir remains one of the best decisions I made last year, and that’s all thanks to him. So I really, really hope that the same scenario will repeat itself and that a few months from now, I’ll look back and be even more grateful for him.
So here’s to piano! To music! To new experiences! To friendship! To cheesy toasts! To doing well on my physics test after being convinced I wouldn’t!
Goodnight!

Me and Music! A.k.a how the heck am I in choir now?! (How I made it to Choir – prologue)

So I’m in the school choir now.

If you had told me this exact thing about a few weeks ago, I’d have laughed. Like really hard.

Even last week, when I came across the recruiting posters in the hallways, I just gave them a long glance, sighed, and walked away.

I’ve always put people who can sing on a higher pedestal than me, nevermind all of my/their other capabilities. It’s like a raw talent, it can’t be bought or made (autotune excluded), you either have it or you don’t.

I love singing a lot, and music in general. I’m literally humming songs under my breath most of my waking hours. If no one’s around, I belt out whatever comes to mind.

There’s the thing: I sound like shit.

I really never considered my voice a good one. This theory has been further reenforced by my lovely sisters who laughed or shot me looks full of fake horror every time I tried to sing a few notes. Usually, when that happens, I try screwing up even more obviously, so that it seems I’ve been sounding bad on purpose.

And ever since Miranda Sings came into the scene, and I started imitating her on a regular basis, it was becoming so easy to pass my singing off as Miranda impressions if I just alter the pitch a little and deform my facial expressions at the right moment. Soon enough, I was singing every single song in Miranda-mode. It wasn’t just an act anymore. I did it even when I was alone. It’s unbelievably entertaining. I swear. Try it. (Except if you hate Miranda – *cough* asdeentelayoush *cough* – then obviously don’t try it or you’ll want to kill yourslef afterwards. Duh.)

Meanwhile, my real singing voice was getting forgotten. I never really used it, or had a reason to. My Miranda voice was getting perfected, I wasn’t being bothered by my sisters, and – well. There’s no and. I don’t have other reasons. Movin’ on.

Despite all that, I did know that I wasn’t completely useless at music. I had memorized hundreds of songs, and could sing all their lyrics and melodies. Sometimes, in the rare moments when I truly sang a song and appreciated it for what it’s worth, I did catch myself think ‘bet the stupid guys in my class couldn’t even do that. Their heads would break down.’ once, maybe twice, probably 50 times. I mean, really. I know most of it is just me desperately trying to give myself some self esteem, but I did think that I could probably sing better than him.

This ‘him’ is a completely random guy in my class. Anyone. Nobody in particular, for no particular reason – even though when I think of ‘him’ the mental picture is one particular guy. I don’t really have particularly much against him, he’s just a regular stupid guy, nothing particular about him, but I don’t know why it’s always him particularly. I imagine him trying to sing and I’m overcome with a particular feeling of satisfaction. I don’t know why I’m so particularly keen on using the word ‘particular’. Particularly in this particular paragraph. (Try saying that ten times fast)

I also had an ear for melodies. I had started playing piano by ear since about 8th grade. I would just take it out, hum the latest Lady Gaga song I had memorized and try to play it single-handedly on my old keyboard. It’s missing like 5 keys now, but meh.
I love the piano. One of my biggest regrets is that I stopped taking lessons when I was in 4th grade. Gosh I wish I could go back, but too late, I guess.

The point is that I get along with music pretty well.

I still haven’t tackled the choir subject. It’s getting really late and I have school in the morning. Oh well, I guess I’ll divide the intended post in two, now that I have talked about the background a bit, I’ll be able to talk about the whole story exclusively later (tomorrow, in twelve weeks, who knows).

No, just kidding. It’s gonna be soon. Not that you really care, but just sayin’.

Good Night! 🙂 [lol – this has always been my diary outro. I meant journal. Yeah, let’s call it that.]