I Sucketh

Piano class is over. I was hoping to do a great job on the Mozart. I didn't. It sounded fine until the Allegretto at the end. Then, for some reason, my fingers turned into French fries. Or pick-up sticks. Anything but fingers. I was disappointed. I'd had such a good practice at noon. I worked especially hard on getting the rhythm and the dynamics of the Allegretto just-so. Oh well.

For some reason, it seems I play better under particular circumstances.

If I'm playing alone, where I absolutely know that no one is listening, then I play well. Or I think I do. I know I enjoy it more, and I do think I play better when I'm completely alone.

I play best when I'm in front of a large audience. Not that that's ever happened. My largest audience has been 200 people, but most audiences have been the handful that show up for college student recitals.

I play worst when in a piano lesson.

I play second worst when in a piano group lesson.

I play pretty darn well when in an impromptu situation--at a party, or at a bar where there isn't any music but there's a piano there.

I don't play particularly well when in a university practice room and I know there are people in the rooms on either side, or walking in the hall, that can hear me.

So today was in front of a small audience, one that included a piano teacher. Not my best situation.

But when I play poorly in one situation, I figure it's not worth it to try to play well in any other situation. And I'm overwhelmed with the desire to quit lessons, to quit music, to stop entertaining this dumb dream that should have been buried years ago.

I know I'd play better if I were able to practice more. But there's only so much time in the day when you're a grown-up with a grown-up job and a grown-up commute and grown-up responsibilities. Blah.

Can you tell I'm depressed tonight? Booyah.

Comments

Emrah said…
Well... Being depressed never helps you know. Instead, you might find something else to blame rather than your fingers and yourself:
- Oh! The piano was terrible today. It needs to be tuned.
- I don't like the room's acoustics.
- Did I consume too much caffein? I've been hypersensitive all day.
- Did I drink too much milk and eat too much yoghurt? I was somehow sleepy.
P.S. It might be George's curse as well. He might get jealous for your 'massaging' other pianos. I bet he wants a luxurious one, right now... ;-]
oceanskies79 said…
Hi Waterfall, it seemed frustrating when one is not playing well on one's instrument. I hope the blues have left you?

Emrah's suggestions are worth a consideration. In essence, just please don't take yourself too seriously. Lighten up. =)
Emrah said…
Also... You are a technical writer and a pianist. So, I think you should consider to get an insurance for your fingers.

A technical programme pages-and-pages-long is non-sense without a COMPUTER. So, next time imagine yourself as Mozart's COMPUTER. If something starts going wrong, it was actually Mozart's mistake. [How could he forget to double-click on your nose?! Ah, those technofobic composers... ;-) ]
Stacey said…
It must be the day. I'm good at talking and good at typing, but today was my first day at my first temp assignment, and I don't know how many ways you can screw up saying the word "construction," but I'm sure I hit them all. And when I was trying to show off my mad Excel skillz, my fingers turned to mush and the backspace key got a workout. BLAH!

I'd share some ice cream with you if I were there.

Love, Cousin Stacey
Kim said…
Aw, Waterfall, I think my daughter could identify. She played her concert grouping at the music festival. Three pieces, all from different periods. She did a Classical, Romantic and Contemporary. The adjudicator gave her a 77. She's NEVER scored so low. The adjudicator tramped all over her pedalling; her legato was too dependent upon the pedalling, the sound was muddy. My daughter came home and said "I suck at everything."

Hope you are feeling better tomorrow.
daisymarie said…
i wanted desperately to learn to play the piano bt every time i played in front of someone my fingers turn to oatmeal...and so does my brain. sigh.

bless your heart.
Waterfall said…
Emrah & Pei Yun: Thanks for the encouragement (and thanks, Emrah, for the laughs!). I'm still a little down about piano, but I got a good practice in today, so that makes things better on the whole.

Stacey: Congrats on the job! It'll get better! And ice cream sounds good--whether the job gets better or not. :)

Kim: I'm so sorry about your daughter. I used to hate those festivals--the score could make or break my self-esteem for months afterward. Oh well, we all have our good days and our bad days. Maybe this week was just a bad week for piano students.

daisymarie:It's never to late to learn! :)
I have been playing for 30 years and I've lost count of how many times I've fallen on my ass. It's part of the territory, you just pick yourself up and keep going, and behold, one day you will play so well it will compensate for the bad days.
Waterfall said…
Forrest: True, I do have a lot of piano memories where I played a LOT worse than I did on Friday. Thought it's always nice to hear from other pianists that they occasionally screw up, too. :-) Also, I played for church this morning and actually did pretty well, so that's deadened the pain of Friday just a bit!

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