By the time I had my first piano lesson at the age of 10, I knew how to play Twinkle Little Star and Row Your Boat.
As I spent time in my first lesson book – Teaching Little Fingers How to Play, I definitely had my favorites. Once I figured out how to have both hands playing at the same time, the music was so much more fun (and sounded more professional.) The last song in the book was called The Wigwam, and I still remember how it goes. Sometimes the harder pieces came out of the Dozen a Day book. These were finger exercises that started out slow, and then sped up until your fingers were twisted like a pretzel.
At my first recital, my teacher invited me to play chopsticks with him on the grand piano. I received much applause after that. I don’t know if it was because I was so good, or the audience was glad it was over. Either way, it was a fun experience.
When I was in Jr. High, our music teacher asked me to accompany the students in Barry Manilow’s I Write the Songs for the spring concert. Unfortunately, I had trouble getting the rhythm going because the chorus was singing different than what I was playing. I was a little embarrassed that night because my name was in the bulletin, but I wasn’t sitting on the piano bench.
I’ve always loved playing the piano. Unfortunately, I never had the ability to play by ear, though I did memorize a few songs over the years, such as The Entertainer. From classics to jazz to ragtime music, I loved the sounds of the keys.
So I was in awe when I found out the Piano Guys were coming to Charlotte. I had watched several of their YouTube videos and was mesmerized by the tickling of the ivories and the tapping on a cello. The $53 per seat price almost scared me away, but then I realized it might be the only opportunity I would have. So I invited a church friend to go. We arrived in plenty of time to socialize and find our seats by 7:30. At least that was the plan.
I felt tech savvy having the tickets on my iPhone. I just needed to find the email to produce them and we were in. My verified tickets were there, but not the barcode. And with little wi-fi in the building, they sent me outside til I could retrieve what they needed. A few minutes turned into thirty. I had forgotten my password to Ticketmaster, so after several attempts, they locked me out.
Yes, the lesson here is – print out the damn tickets ahead of time, so you have time to pee and find your seat. LOL.
It was very frustrating. Here we were, sitting outside of the Owens Auditorium with paid tickets, but they wouldn’t let us in the door. There was an usher saying “The concert has started…” I was about to give up but decided to take one more effort (be bold and courageous) and talk to the Will Call woman again. “I’ve tried for the last thirty minutes but still can’t get the barcode,” I said as politely as my frustrated self could muster.
“I.D. please”. I give her my I.D. and a few minutes later she hands me two tickets with barcodes on them. Seriously? All I needed was to give her my I.D.? Why didn’t she ask me for that 30 minutes before!? Again, I smiled and thanked her for her help. I got my potty break and then we found our seats, sat down and thoroughly enjoyed the concert.
Listening to the piano and the cello helped me relax and settle down from my wonderful episode of frustration. I could have sat there for hours, well, more than 2 1/2. It amazed me the amount of music that was made from just two instruments. The concert was very interactive with scenes of them playing at four of the seven wonders of the world, to the fun “Snoopy” tune they played at a nursing home.
The love of music has stayed with me throughout my life – and I will continue to pass down the love for it to the generations yet to listen.
Select either of the Piano Guys CD’s to add them to your collection.
What is your favorite kind of music? How do you access your tunes these days? Share in the comments below.