I wrote this just the other day, so here it is again.
There was a time in my life when I was “all music all the time.” I completed a music major in college (piano) with a minor in “what am I really going to be when I grow up?” I knew I wasn’t a good enough pianist to perform professionally, added to which I have such bad stage fright I was petrified playing for my piano teacher. Mind you I can talk on a stage — even with a camera running — but not perform. Especially not playing the piano. My teacher had to pretend to make tea so I would perform for her.
If my minimal talent was barely sufficient, my stage fright was paralytic, but my teacher was warmly encouraging. She felt I had talent. I don’t think she entirely understood my hands are really small. I am really small, though I often forget that I’m super extra short. I remember when I realize I can’t get things from the top shelf of my kitchen cabinets. And those tiny hands — I can barely reach an octave.
I had a terrible time with ‘big handed’ music — which is most piano music written by men with big hands. I think she kept expecting me to grow. I started taking lessons when I was 4, so I suppose she never got used to my having already grown up.
If she didn’t turn me into a professional musician, she did teach me to understand and love music. And I can always tell if someone is off-key. Including me. Oddly enough, I don’t want music playing all the time. If music is playing, I want to hear it fully — not as background noise. My favorite is classical music, but I can only listen to that at home. If I listen to it in the car, I find myself driving off the road. So in the car, it’s any other type of music from bluegrass, country, or 1960s rock. Eclectic, but old fashioned.
When I hear piano music that I once played, I see the notes in my head. I do miss music and I think when we finally get financed and life starts to move forward and I’m not worrying all the time, at least somewhere in the back of my head, I might learn to play something. A three-string cigar box guitar sounds about right to me.