Saturday, November 12, 2005

A Weird Thing about Contrary-Motion Scales

Remember how much trouble I had learning contrary-motion scales last year? I even had a nightmare about them. Remember?

I worked so hard on those crazy scales. I wasn't sure why it was important for me to learn to play things like c#-minor in contrary motion, but I trusted Deborah (my piano teacher) and practiced, practiced, and practiced. I can honestly say that I have never worked harder on anything in my life, piano-wise, than contrary-motion scales. It was like I had musical dyslexia or something. They just didn't make sense to me. I spent dozens of hours playing through those things at a snail's pace. This is not typical for me. I generally pick things up on the piano pretty quickly. But contrary-motion scales were a whole different ballgame.

I suppose things "clicked" at some point, but it was a very slow "click."

I've practiced so little since school started. I'm still going to lessons, but sometimes my once-a-week "practice lesson" is the only practice I get for the week. I've all but abandoned contrary-motion scales, after all that hard work.

But do you know what? Each week, when Deborah asks me to play a different contrary-motion scale ... I play it. I play it perfectly. I play it at a fast pace. I don't make a single mistake. Even with the tricky ones like c#-minor and e-flat minor. It's like all that painstaking practice has carved those scales indelibly into my brain. I doubt that I'll ever forget them.

How cool is that? I'm going to stop blogging and go practice now!

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