Thursday, January 25, 2007

Sounds of Silence

My neighbours might not agree! The blog may have been silent for a couple of days, but my house has not....

On Tuesday I had my first ever piano lesson with a local teacher. In anticipation of the lessons I had bought 'Die Russische Klavierschule' (the Russian piano school), published by Sikorski who did very well for themselves out of the fall of the Soviet Union, when they bought up copyrights to large amounts of former Soviet composers - and they are still chasing some composers - I know! This piano school is however adapted for the German market, and contains quite a lot of German children's songs, too - that's how instrument schools go. I had peered at it before I started and thought that it looked like quite a relaxed approach; first one hand, then the other (to start with in treble clef....).

By the end of the lesson I was 'playing' item 112 of the book, firing on both hands, and if the piano had not yet to be tuned, would have been firing on both feet as well. Geeeez. Sink or swim, I think. At two lessons a week life is going to get pressuresome. The teacher is going to bring some book of 'easy pieces' for tomorrow's lesson. How long before Elise comes knocking at the door?

Quite apart from that, also started on my music course. At the moment it seems fairly straightforward (after decades of music playing), but no doubt one day it will turn around and bite me. It starts right at the beginning, and I mean totally at the beginning, about at 'what is a note'. But I wonder if a) anyone who has never learnt music would ever embark on this course, and b) if they do, how would they cope. The course introduction states that this subject is usually taught on a one-to-one basis (I feel I am getting some of this in my piano lessons), and there is even some attempt at piano teaching by video (I am about 5 seconds ahead on that!). Like all OU courses the videos/DVDs are ancient, and our presenters look like typical OU lecturers of the 70s, fair isle sweaters and all. But it's quite different from other OU courses in that you have to constantly listen to sound samples. So when I thought I'd do a course to stop me from sitting in front of the computer, internetting all the time, now I am sitting in front of the computer, slotting in and out CDs and DVDs all the time.