Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Key-striking Quest

Something's changed at our house. The first of these images is from a month ago, the second, from this week.

Spot the difference!

Yes, Esky is no longer sitting in the ring. That's one thing that's changed, for sure. It would be very bad if she hadn't moved.

Also...we have a piano now.

A few points of note (snicker):
  • I play. Not well, not bad, but I play. I'm not just being modest, I'm really not too flash.
  • Whenever our church organist arrives late or is sick, I see the branch presidency eye me up from the stand - sometimes their eyebrows even dance in my direction, pleading. I smile as graciously as possible, make my way to the piano (note, I dare not go near The Giant Thing with Pipes and Pedals), and there I take a few deep breaths before placing two hands onto the keys, frantically scanning for the little intro-indicators in the hymnal, and then I play the intro (with at least one mistake), and then my left-hand pretty much drops out for the rest of the piece if the song has more than two flats or two sharps. Sigh. Yet, they look to me again and again.
  • That's right, I refer to the key the song is in by how many accidentals it has. That is because I have had precisely four years of piano lessons, with next to no focus on theory. These lessons were when I was age seven to ten.
  • I can only play one real song from memory (by "real", I mean other than chopsticks, "Frère Jacques", "Do-Re-Mi", and the standard duet with the single finger left and two-fingered right - you know the one). That song is "The Hill Street Blues Theme".
  • I only really know the first four or five bars of that.
  • We bought the piano second-hand for a great price.
  • A group of good humans picked it up and carried it up the stairs into my living room. Bless their guts.
  • Sometimes I sweat, due to my nerves.
  • When whoever is conducting thanks me for playing the piano over the pulpit at the meeting's close, I audibly scoff. I've tried to turn this instinct off, but I do it every time, I'm pretty sure.
  • I also have a habit, when asked (vocally) to play, of saying, "Are you sure?" instead of "Sure!"
  • I've decided I can change those last two points. And some of the others.
I'm starting small.

By March 1st 2011 I will:
  • learn (and be able to recall) what the keys are actually called, as opposed to saying, "with two flats" etc;
  • create a database of hymns arranged by category according to my confidence in playing each hymn at present (to be recreated at March 1st 2011);
  • be able to play three additional song-songs from memory;
  • display confidence playing at least ten songs with three sharps, *"confidence" meaning from beginning to end without unwritten pauses and at the metered speed;
  • display confidence* playing at least ten songs with three flats;
  • display confidence* playing at least five songs with four sharps;
  • display confidence* playing at least five songs with four flats; and
  • have made observable improvement in my general playing aptitude across the board, "observable" by me, Haki, and anyone else who may make note.

For the pedants (I embrace you) - yes, there are other differences;
  • There is now some Baby's Breath hanging to dry, stage right;
  • The Lancia metal car wall-hanging has moved to the right;
  • The door to the left is closed;
  • A picture of the temple has been added;
  • The items in the side-room (at right) have moved (no longer leaning against wall, "to be hung" just after moving);
  • All of the pictures have moved down some. They were too high.
  • The cushion to the far left is facing the opposite way (blue left, instead of red). I'm slipping.
  • And there are lots of small shifts in cushion placement.
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