Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Baby, it's Grand!

Well, I don't know if a 5-foot Kawai Baby Grand--black and shiny and brand new--is going overboard, but I have easily rationalized my purchase (after about 4 nano-seconds of "buyers remorse") because of how uncontrollably this piano rocks!!!!! Ahhhhhh.

I've gone through all sorts of repertoire and am amazed at two things: #1. how wonderful my hands feel playing this baby and #2. how selective and stubborn my aging brain can be while reading music that I supposedly "know."

Regarding #1--my hands, arms, and body feel so much better and at home playing this piano compared to my digital Yamaha. No comparison. My fingers fly and my technique is quickly snapping back into shape. A few neighbors have commented on their ability to hear me playing, most of which has been positive. Not only was I the first neighbor to blow up a ginormous Bounce House on the front lawn (see post from 6/25), I am the first to play a piano at levels reaching into kitchen window of a neighbor three doors down. Yahoo!!!!
I type a lot and fast. I think this has somehow quickened the agility of my hands. For real. In college, I had slight symptoms of carpal tunnel in my wrists from playing the piano, and in grad school, that returned as I dumped mass quantities of the English language onto mass quantities of Word docs. So I adjusted my body position at the computer keyboard, and I think this has positively affected my body at the piano keyboard. I see a future conference paper in the works...

Regarding #2: all of my piano teachers, at some point, required me to memorize pieces of music for performance. I eventually became really good at this. I haven't needed to memorize classical music recently nor have I sat and "practiced" in a long time. On occasion, though, or when asked to play something, I'll pull out the music for the oldies but goodies. And, I'm a really good sight reader so I'm quick as far as processing piano music. Anyway, I've noticed that since the piano arrived on Saturday, while reading the music of a piece that I'm already really familiar with, sometimes my brain freezes, and it's like I can't even recognize the notes or something. I've stopped dead in my tracks and stared at a certain passage with no friggin' recollection of how to play it or even negotiate such a mess. So, I usually back up a bit, and try again. Then it usually clicks and flows. Huh??? Maybe too many Happy Hours catching up with me? Dammit, Bud Lite! I thought we understood each other! But again, my keen ability to rationalize my worries away kicks brain is in shock of what my body is doing....playing a really really good piano for a change, yes? This, too, shall pass. OK. That works. For now.

I've decided to learn to play something completely new starting later this afternoon. I have a list of 19 things to do today (for real) and that's #14. I'm guessing I'll start early-afternoon before my son comes home. I haven't decided what to learn or what will happen to the thoughts in the above #1 and #2, but I will give it a shot.

Any suggestions for Judy's first new piece on the BG??

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