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Rediscovering the keyboard

Serendipity

September 9, 2013
Billie Shelton (shelton@netins.net) , The Daily Freeman Journal

On a library table in my breezeway now sits a keyboard, the kind that makes music. And that's just what I'm doing it with it, after it has been sitting in a closet untouched for at least 10 years now.

In recent years I guess I always thought I had something else More Important than playing music that I should be doing. Besides, I thought, I didn't want to disturb anyone else. So I just let it stay in the closet.

But now the keyboard is dusted off and plugged in. And playing it feeds my soul at a time when that's really needed. And in a way I'd nearly forgotten.

Don't get me wrong here. I am a long way from being a concert pianist, I don't have classical training, and I'm really not very adept at sight reading music. Yet just for me, in my own little world, it feels good to sit down to play a simple tune or two when I want.

And it feels good to know I can still do that. Because my late grandmother was a piano teacher, I could read music before I could read words. But the flip side of that was, since she was my grandma, I really didn't make the most of the opportunity. Like young students everywhere, I didn't care to practice diligently, to say the least. Now, of course, I see that my effort could have always been more serious. Yet my grandma loved me, always patiently encouraged me, and simply hung in there with me.

So I have long been a good enough pianist to enjoy playing for myself and my children. Because of space, I no longer own a piano, but this electronic keyboard is an excellent option for me.

Since I can quite easily play songs by memory, I wasn't really surprised when I first set up the keyboard that some songs were still with me. Although I don't know of what value memorizing is, it's nice to just play something I like. It also makes it too easy not to get out the books and read some music. Some of my music I've unpacked is like an old friend, songs left over from the 1970s that still sound good to me even though my children would undoubtedly tease me about them.

Just like it's always been, the keyboard lures me. "Just for 10 minutes," I'll say to myself as I get comfortable on the old organ stool, turn on the keyboard and open a book. Then it's invariably a half-hour later when I realize I actually was on my way to do something else when I started playing. Still, often I'm thinking "Just one more piece. . ."

Playing piano doesn't feel like wasting time, as it used to. It feels like an old friend is back in my life.

 
 

 

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