Monday, July 2, 2007

Satisfying my urges

Lately I've been feeling an emptiness in my soul. I've been having these urges deep within my bosom, a burning desire to

resume practicing the piano.

I've never been that great of a pianist; but, I do enjoy playing. Or, at least I did. I don't know why, but I just up and quit playing a few years ago. I was even taking piano lessons at the time. I quit my lessons and quit playing the piano. I think it had something to do with other stresses going on in my life at the time; but, now I regret making that decision. Since that time, I have occasionally sat down to play hymns out of the hymnal. I've even substituted in Priesthood opening exercises a few times when there weren't any other piano players around. But, lately, just playing hymns has not been satisfying me - I want more.

I once had a goal in my life to become an organist (how gay is that?). In fact, when I was in college, that was just one of the goals I set for myself, I even minored in music for a while (although, I didn't complete the minor).

The reality is: I haven't achieved any of my goals that I set back in college. Some are because my priorities have changed and they are no longer important to me, such as getting a PhD. Some are because my goals changed over time. For example, I used to want to have 8 children. But, after our first child was born then 7 children seemed like a good number. After our second child then 6 children seemed like the ideal family size. After our third child then 5 children seemed like a worthy goal. And, after our fourth child ... well, 4 children was just right.

But, to become an organist ... I just don't have a good excuse for why I never achieved that goal. I was realistic in my goal - I never saw myself as the tabernacle organist. But, I would like to be good enough to play in church some day.

So, what does this have to do with the piano? Because, back when I was in college minoring in music, the organ professor told me that in order to become a good organist, I first had to become a good pianist. He told me I had to be very proficient with the keyboard, know all of my scales, etc.

And so, I set a corollary goal to become a pianist. In the early years of my marriage with young children, traveling for work, etc. that goal had to be put on the back burner. But when our children were older and I was no longer traveling on business as much, I started taking private piano lessons. And then, one day, I was feeling frustrated, stressed, and I just up and quit - and now I'm feeling like a total scumbag for doing that. I've tried to tell myself that my priorities have changed,that it wasn't important to me. But, I was lying to myself. Just like I lied to myself all those years that I wasn't gay. I guess I've just gotten tired of lying to myself all the time.

So, what am I doing about it? Back when I was taking piano lessons, I had a favorite music book by David Lanz. Unfortunately, my son loaned it to a friend before his mission - and now that book is gone. So, I got on Amazon and ordered a new one which just arrived last week. And I've started re-learning the songs I used to enjoy playing from that book. Unfortunately, I had all of the fingering written in my old book; so, I'm having to figure out fingering which isn't that easy (my piano teacher used to help with with that). Who knows, maybe I'll even resume my piano lessons one day. And maybe, just maybe, I might even one day play the organ in Sacrament meeting.

So, that it! A very long winded way and convoluted way of saying I've started practicing the piano again. But, if I just said that, it wouldn't have been nearly as interesting :)


Max Power said...

I LOVE making music.

I am quite proficient in hymns on the piano, but nothing else. I haven't had one in my home for a decade now, so I only get to play on Sunday for Priesthood and on rare occasions at other friend's houses. That doesn't lend well to knowing how to play anything other than hymns.

I picked up the guitar several years ago, so I am fairly mediocre at that.

My #1 love, though, is the drums. I love pounding out a good rhythm. It just makes me get my groove on. Mmmmm hmmmm! Yeah baby! Bow-chiga-bow-now.

Go for it Abe! Show that piano who's boss!

Abelard Enigma said...

My #1 love, though, is the drums.

All four of our children were in band in school. One played flute, one played bassoon, and two were in percussion. And, the bassoon player played in the pit during marching season (since you can't march with a bassoon).

So, I have a lot of admiration for your parents - when your child is a drummer then the whole world becomes a drum set :)

Beck said...

Such hidden talents! You are full of surprises...

I tried teaching my kids the piano - but that didn't work very well, usually ended in tears or fights. Then we paid a teacher to teach them - but that didn't work very well either, usually ending in tears or threats to leave the family. Then we changed instruments and now we have a guitar player, a violinist and a violist in the family. No one took up my passion for the piano... and we still can't get everyone together for an ensamble, but someday I hope we will be able to.

Music is a powerful tool of communication - spirit-to-spirit communication. I echo Max in saying "Go for it!"

Abelard Enigma said...

My wife plays viola. The first instrument I learned was violin, but I switched to Stringed Bass which I played through High School and early college years. I played Tuba in the marching band in HS and college.

I also have a passion for folk music and play the hammer dulcimer.

Music is an important part of our lives too.

-L- said...

Hammer dulcimer? Awesome.

Violin to clarinet to voice to piano--my list of musical instrument choices just underlines my gayness. If only I'd played flute.

Still love that stuff even though I'm out of practice.

Forester said...

I have longed to play the cello since I was young. My mother made me learn to play the flute. And although I enjoy it, I still long for the cello. I started to take lessons a year ago and dropped out. I was going through a rough time and just couldn't add something else. I wish I would have continued. I may start up again. Music has always been a huge part of my life. I miss it.