How many of you have taken piano lessons?
Do you remember Song of the Volga Boatmen – the plodding tune by Russian burlaks (barge haulers) who hand-pulled barges full of merchandise up river, against the current, from one village to the next?
“Yo, yo heave ho!
Oh, yo, yo heave ho!
So pull together;
Forward still we go.”
Published in book of Russian folk songs in 1866
Little did I know, when I picked ‘Cadence’ as my 2015 inspirational word, how that folk song – full of cadence – would emerge from my fingers once again.
You see, for Christmas I asked for – and Hub gave me – a keyboard.
Fifty-six years after I last touched a piano – or any other musical instrument – I got a hankering to make music. And fifty-six years after my last piano lesson, Song of the Volga Boatmen is STILL in the beginner books as the first lesson for learning minor key.
Taking piano lessons in third grade was not my idea of after-school fun. One year – at Mom’s insistence – of bi-weekly treks to Mrs. Hall’s for an hour of finger drills, when I yearned to be one house over, staring at identical twins Paula and Patty Bunning.
Being half of an identical duo held far more allure than striking half notes on the upright.
Why now – after all these years – did I decide to re-visit piano?
Blogging is the key.
- The key to cadence
- The key to keyboard
Writing – for me – has been about finding rhythm in my words.
When my writing flows, I can tap a tale; jazz up an anecdote; pirouette my way through a puzzling muse. There’s cadence in my dance.
If I could still attend dance classes, I would. My joints have said “enough”’.
If I could begin singing lessons, I would. My jaw says “not a chance”.
But I hear beats and music all around me. Outside me, it’s choirs singing through your words and artistry. Inside me, it’s piano tunes whenever I tap out another blog post on the computer keys.
The final nudge was hearing that Raqi had to learn notes on a keyboard for her singing lessons.
Is it possible I can play simple duets with my beloved granddaughter?
To Mrs. Hall’s credit, I retained far more of her teaching than I expected, and I’ve already made decent progress with beginner tunes.
As for the keyboard itself, there are so many buttons to press and dials to twist, I don’t have enough years left to learn how to use them all effectively. Keep in mind, I was born before the ‘what’s–this-button-let’s-press-it-and-see-what-happens’ generation.
No sweat – either Raqi will press them or I’ll hire a keyboard mentor.
Right now, I’m filled to the brim with righteous cadence whenever I read the notes correctly, co-ordinate my fingers, press the ivories and Music Happens!
Yo, yo heave ho!