Tuesday, September 26, 2006

P is for Piano

The piano and I go a ways back. We had our split for some time, but I think we are back to a healthy relationship.

We began to get acquainted when my family got our first little electronic synthesizer for Christmas when I was about 9. I started playing on it and made up my first very own songs on that thing. Later my parents got us a full-size electronic piano with all the sounds and rhythms and the capability to record our own music. About that time I started taking lessons for real, and I was able to write even more. Even while I was learning classical pieces and some popular songs, most of the time when I played, I played my own music.

When it was time to leave for college, I auditioned for a music scholarship playing one of my compositions. They offered me $400 if I majored in music and $200 if I minored, and I took the minor (I wasn't ready to pursue it as a career). Then they set me up with who they thought was the best piano teacher the school had. And at first, I believe I held my own as one of her students. I kept up alright, learned the songs she wanted me to learn, and performed a recital fairly well. I'm not sure I remember exactly when the downward spiral began.... but I remember one of our lessons when I was frustrated with a particular piece, and she began to question why I was even at college at all. She asked me what my major was and I said I was undecided. "Well, college isn't for everyone," she said. She even went so far to suggest that I was better off eloping and quitting school. At least she fully encouraged my decision to quit taking piano (and give up the meagre scholarship I had earned).

I think that was the moment that destroyed every shred of creative ability I ever had at music. I have not written a song since I quit taking lessons from her, about 10 years ago.

But all was not completely lost... I later pursued voice lessons and took them for maybe a year and a half, something I have never regretted. And I began to revive my interest in piano, maybe starting sometime last year. I've been trying to add more songs to my repertoire, mostly Broadway numbers that I enjoy singing along to.

But this morning a new idea for a project struck me (ever notice how our best ideas seem to strike in the shower??)... I still have all those songs I wrote those years ago, and they need to be compiled in a little portfolio just for posterity's sake. I have scraps and scribbles of some of them, and a couple of them are fully written out, but I want more of it in nice clean copies. Time to remember how to write music down on paper...We'll see how long I stay with getting this done... :)

And one of my pieces, the one that everyone seems to like best, is unnamed. It's sort of a creepy waltz song but I don't remember what my inspiration was for it. So if anyone has any suggestions, I'd love to hear!

Whew... sorry for the long post today, guys!! :)



Blogger Dirty Gypsy said...

That piano teacher was an idiot. Seriously.

I think your project idea sounds awesome. Could be a nice little winter project, depending on how long the whole process might take ya.

Um, "Lick My Love Pump"? Okay, okay. I honestly have no idea. I'd have to see how it makes me feel when you play it, and I can't remember what it sounded like. You'll have to play it for me again.

9/26/2006 1:49 PM  
Blogger Larry said...

I love the piano. I have always wanted to learn how to play. However, I am about as musically gifted as a turnip.

I never knew you played, and would love to here your stuff. You should definitely put everything together. I wish I had done that with my poems, because now I cannot find most of them.

9/27/2006 7:36 AM  
Blogger Larry said...

I have always wanted to learn how to play the piano. However, I am about as musically talented as a turnip. So I have to stick to listening.

You should definitely put all of your music to paper. I would love to hear some of it sometime.

9/27/2006 9:18 PM  
Blogger Larry said...

See, that is what happens when blogger holds on to a comment for 12+ hours before finally putting it up. I got home and checked your blog and my comment wasn't there. So, I decided I better comment again. I geton this morning and BAM, there are both of my very similar comments. HMMMMM?

9/28/2006 7:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I LOOOOOOOVE THAT SONG YOU WROTE. The main part gets in my head all of the time, especially in the fall around Halloween. It should be the soundtrack to a horror movie for sure. I can see it now..."Night of the Living Zombies" featuring the song "Lick my love pump" by Chester Copperpot and The Slick Shoes.

-Ryan C.

9/28/2006 9:56 PM  

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