Monday, March 05, 2007

Music and me - aged sixteen

from w
High school assemblies were out in the hot sun - hundreds of boys and girls while the staff stood in the balcony. The singing of the National Anthem was obligatory every Monday morning and the school pianist had to peer through a doorway for the cue as she sat in the music room on the corner of the quadrangle. Days of 40 degree heat and dreadful uniforms. Music teacher's pet? No, this girl was bored in the classes and was talkative. Sorry, Miss June Beckman!

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Anonymous Karen said...

Naughty girl, Wendy ... but I'll bet all that practice made you a good piano player! Your memories are fun to look at, thanks.

10:55 PM  
Blogger Penny said...

Love the piano playing ones, our uniforms looked like that too and the hair in plaits but I have never played a musical instrument.

11:13 PM  
Blogger Peceli and Wendy's Blog said...

I loved playing music alone, such as campy Tchaikovsky, and piano music rang through the house. But att the high school I played for choir stuff - 'Nymphs and shepherds run away' sort of songs!
Later when I taught some music in schools I really copied Miss June Beckman's style of teaching anyway, though the repertoire by then was 'world music', Bob Dylan, and the Seekers.

11:21 PM  
Blogger The Moody Minstrel said...

I was bored and talkative, too.

In fact, when I was 5 I quickly became bored with my piano lessons (too easy...) so I spent my time playing TV show themes by ear instead of practicing my etudes. That's why I didn't stay with piano (unfortunately).

So...was I talented or just arrogant?

5:00 AM  
Blogger Peceli and Wendy's Blog said...

Moody, you say when you were five your were playing etudes? Five or fifteen? Maybe you are one of these Suzuki method (is that it) music geniuses!

11:47 AM  
Blogger The Moody Minstrel said...

This is something that I mentioned in at least one of those "Selba tags" on my blog. :)

When I was in kindergarten a couple of my friends were taking piano lessons. I'd listen to them trying to play their etudes, and then I'd say, "Is this what you're trying to play," lean across them, and crank it off in one go. It used to make them just furious!

My parents decided to enroll me in piano lessons after that, but I thought they were too boring. I was more interested in improvising, composing, and playing tunes I heard on TV, so I rarely practiced my etudes and performance pieces. I went through two different teachers before my parents gave up and terminated the lessons completely. That was more or less the end of my piano career. It wasn't until the summer after the 4th grade that I started formal music training again, this time on clarinet. It all went crazy from there...

A Suzuki method genius? No, I'm self-taught, and I don't always follow the rules. But thank you for the compliment.

7:13 PM  
Blogger Peceli and Wendy's Blog said...

Moody, that's amazing to pick up music by ear so young. I only got into playing pop music by ear when I was a teenager when I played for youth club dances. Pop tunes those days were simple and singable. Picking up melodies by ear came in good stead when I was researching Fijian music, taping chants and string band songs and needing to transcribe the voice parts etc. It was hard slog though.

1:20 PM  

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