Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Crumbs on the Keyboard

It was the crumbs on the keyboard which I remember the most.

I had an hour's lesson each week with an elderly organist who would give lessons in a rented room with a piano. I would feel sick the night before in anticipation of the the dreaded hour when I would nervously play the tunes I'd been given to practice that week. 

The teacher would munch on a iced bun or a piece of cake and drink tea. I'd finish my brief renditions and await his judgement. I can't really remember what he used to say except that I was terrified most of the time. He would write things on the music sheets and I'd never understand what it was, I still remember it as spidery and mysterious and indicative that something needed to be worked on that week.

Leaving the lesson on a Friday afternoon was the same feeling one has when leaving a final exam, or finally walking out a police station with visa that has taken days to obtain. One felt free and liberated, able to relax until Thursday night would come round again when the familiar feelings of trepidation would descend.

The lasting effects of this childhood experience which went on for almost ten years was that I'd vowed never to make my kids learn a musical instrument unless they wanted to. I'm happy to provide encouragement but I certainly wasn't going to be an enforcer!

Watercolour on Paper 

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