Wednesday, May 20, 2009

"Don't try to improve it"

Piano lessons continue, even though I haven't mentioned much about them here. While I was in Toronto last week, Jason pinch-hit for me, taking his first ever formal lesson (assuming you don't count Jillian's lessons last summer). He already has his first assignment in his first book. And, at the risk of sounding like the clueless proud daddy here, I must say he is off to a flying start. He can play his C-D-C-D-C-D-E-F-G (right hand only) just fine. Most importantly, it is great to see him proud of himself.

He'll pinch hit for me next week as well, since I will be on my way home from the US Open VB Tournament, and won't be back in time. Then, starting the second week in June, he and Jillian will have a permanent spot in PT's weekly summer rotation. Me? I will not. Heaven knows what my schedule will be, but Jason and Jillian will have schedules as regular and predictable as Johnny Unitas' hair.

(Quoth Abe Simpson: "Johnny Unitas... now there is a haircut you can set your watch to.")

So I will probably take one or two lessons over the summer, as kids' schedules permit, but my regular slot won't resume until September. Which means, among other things, that I am trying to get plenty of fodder in my last couple of lessons before summer hiatus. Tonight was my second-to-last. And the entire focus was on I Due Fiumi, my recital piece (countdown clock: 17 days). I played it (very well), tinkered with some trouble spots, implemented a couple of suggestions, played it in its entirety again (less well) and talked a little more about points of emphasis. Then she dropped this on me:

"Keep working on it, but don't try to improve it."

"Um, what? But... there are parts I can play better."

"Don't try to play it better."

Upon further investigation, what she meant, in the nicest way she could manage, was to say that IDF is about is as good as it is going to get for me, right now. Playing it more in the next 17 days may smooth out a rough edge here or there, but nothing anyone besides me (and possibly, but not certainly her) would notice. It is not perfect, but the only thing I can do to improve it is to improve my skill, my technique. Which could happen in six months, certainly in a year. But in two weeks? Meh. Eat a banana one hour before the recital (thank for that tip, mom3gram), and I'm good to go.

Some time in the next few weeks, I am going to try to score some time on the recital instrument, our church's five year-old Kawai RX-3. Looking at the list price of these pianos, I hope to not like it too much. ("Honey, about that new Odyssey we were talking about for this year... maybe next... for the same price, wouldn't you rather have a new Kawai instead? You would, right?")

I'll keep you posted.

- Aw2pp, wannabe arborist


pdxknitterati said...

The piano would depreciate more slowly than the car...

Michelle Himes said...

But you can't transport 4 kids in a piano. :-)