Ah, the piano…

I love playing the piano.  Even if I am not good at it.  But still, the piano has a calming effect on me.  Once I start playing, nothing can stop me. 🙂  I happily play through all the music I know on my wretched digital keyboard.  Yes, I could never afford to buy a real piano, but my keyboard has been very faithful, so loyalty must be rewarded…and I could never throw away such a long-lasting keyboard.  I remember how Plutarch was grumbling about Cato’s “morals” in his Lives.  Cato believed that once something had outlived its usefulness, he should throw it away or cast it aside.  Plutarch, as the narrator, scoffed at this and said that it was wrong to reward those who have served faithfully with a kick to the side.  Plutarch said that he would gladly take care of an old servant or an old dog after their days of work were over.  Anyway, the same relates to my digital keyboard.  I admire Plutarch’s writings; he is another ancient historian and, in his own way, a philosopher that I enjoy.  After all, a philosopher is someone who loves wisdom and wants to find it, to grasp it.  My study of Ancient Greek has paid off! 😛  “Philo” (Φιλο) means “love,” and “sophia” (σοΦια) means “wisdom”; therefore, love of wisdom.  You don’t have to be majoring in philosophy to join the quest for wisdom and knowledge.  It is like one of the enchantresses said in Lloyd Alexander’s The Foundling and Other Tales of Prydain: few people ask for wisdom…most ask for glory, fame, wealth, power.  But wisdom?

I seem to have digressed from my original topic.  Forgive me. 🙂 

I won’t forget my first piano lessons.  I was about 9 years old.  My mom and I approached this dingy-looking house, where she had made an appointment with a man who giving piano lessons at $8 per hour.  We bravely went inside.  The room, looking very much like a living room, was filled with other kids; this was going to be a semi-group lesson.  I sat down on an empty chair by a piano, and the man, anticipating us, brought me a brand-new recital book, i.e. a lesson book.  After introducing himself, he demanded that I play the piano.  Bewildered, I could not oblige him, having never played the piano in my life.  I was here, in this stinky house with this mean instructor, to learn how to play.  Angry at my lack of response, he started scribbling with a pen inside my lesson book, dictating where I should start practicing.  Unfortunately, his behaviour, and the fact that he had just written all over an illustration of a cute giraffe inside the lesson book (I have always loved giraffes), made me burst into tears.  The man was shocked.  My mom explained, asking him to use only pencil inside my book, a request which he reluctantly agreed to, only silently wishing that I would stop crying.  But, eventually, I did.  And, slowly but surely, 😉 I began to play the piano.

Well, I took lessons at this man’s place for only a while before finding another instructor.  I stopped taking piano lessons completely when I was almost 14.  I was sure that I could master the rest by myself.  And I will, when and if I can have an access my keyboard again.  But one thing is for sure: I am an intermediate pianist, and I love playing the piano. 🙂

Natalie Gorna

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