Y’know… I hate having to write these lesson updates when I’m in a horrible mood. Here I am… grumpy as hell from all sorts of little problems, personal and professional. I mean, for God’s sake… I’m having Oreos for lunch at 5 in the afternoon. And I’m just snippy and cynical when I really shouldn’t be.
But here we are.
My lesson itself wasn’t all that bad. Especially considering that I almost asked to cancel. I was in a horrible mood. So was my teacher. It just seemed like a recipe for disaster… that particular kind of disaster that leads to screaming matches and tears.
But it wasn’t a disaster. I played through my lead sheet piece and we talked about some decisions that I made regarding chord voicing and substitutions. Lead sheets are both exciting to me and scary. They’re exciting because “Yay new and very useful thing to learn!” but they’re scary because they put so much of the decision making in my hands and I don’t always fare well with that. I’m a very literal and instruction driven person. But it’s all good, and this should help me break out of that.
We worked on the second movement of the Beethoven Sonatina… it’s in about the same shape as last week. The beginning’s a little cleaner but I just need more time with it… and to learn the little coda-ending-thingy.
We talked a good bit about musicality and technique and how the two are inextricable from each other, and moreover, the latter has to be subservient to the former if you want to actually make music. Hitting all the right notes with all the right fingers is pointless if it’s not musical. You’re not making art. You’re doing data entry.
And I use that analogy because the piano still feels sort of like an abacus to me. It’s very kinesthetic and external, which is good in some sense. I can see what I’m doing and more easily endeavor to change it, unlike voice where I have to just feel and think and believe in fairies to make an adjustment. But I also have the problem of applying this… I can’t make music if I can’t hit all the right notes. And it gets frustrating to the point of tears sometimes. Especially because if I can blow my own horn about any aspect of my music making ability, it is the fact that I know how to be expressive. Feeling and planning and executing phrasing is something that is second nature to me on any other instrument I’m comfortable with. But on piano, it’s like my brain doesn’t have enough RAM to make it happen at the same time that I’m trying to play all the right notes.
But I’m sure like with most things, it will come with time and diligence.
And more oreos.