Monday, January 26, 2009

The Home-Grown Orchestra Performs Tonight

We now have two aspiring musicians in the house.

Lauren has been taking piano lessons for a year now, and enjoying them from all appearances. She especially loves the songs that require her to use the sustenato pedal or to play more than one note at a time, and I can understand why. They sound better, for one thing. And they're more fun.

Every week she goes over to Miss Carol's house for her lesson, and she has even been known to favor us with a concert or two when she gets a song she really likes. This week she had two such songs - a minorish sort of ditty about Frankenstein dancing (she liked the creepiness of it, and the fact that it called for chords), and Yankee Doodle, which had an introduction that needed the pedal. I don't think the colonists had that introduction, since it had a distinct "Barbershop Quartet" feel to it, but there you go. They would have had it, had they known.

Last April Lauren even had her first recital, at which she played Old MacDonald Had a Song for a fairly large crowd. We cheered like we were at Carnegie Hall. Actually, we cheered better than Carnegie Hall, since those crowds are always so decorous and polite, and we were cheering, by gum.

And now Tabitha has decided to join in. Not on the piano, but on the violin.

On the one hand, this is pretty cool. The violin can be a marvelous instrument, and she seems very excited by the prospect of playing it. Her first lesson (also with Miss Carol) was today, and she just ate it up. Now she knows how to stand and hold the instrument, and how to put resin on the bow. She hasn't actually gotten it to make noise yet, at least not with the bow - the violin is not like a piano, where you just press down on the keys and produce notes. You have to work your way up to that.

Which is where the other hand comes in.

I play piano, sort of. At least I took lessons for a while, way back when, and I still remember where the notes are and how to play them. And if I play it more like a guitar than an actual piano - give me the tablature above the staff and the time signature and I can fake my way through just about anything - well, that's okay. I can still be of some service to Lauren. Every day we practice together, and we have a good time.

I am completely flummoxed by the violin.

So we'll be learning together, Tabitha and I.

1 comment:

KimK said...

I'll chime in with my kazoo!