I’m feeling so happy today. I bought a new piano book at Yamaha (the old time piano studio that still exists in Singapore after all these years).
Playing something new helps me assess a different party of my brain, the way learning anything new does, like new words. No matter how old you are learning new things is essential for your brain just like movement is for your body.
Out of everything I’ve failed at in life, I’m glad that I am still able to do some things pretty well. There is no monetary value to what I do (although I’m keen to teach adults basic note reading) and I can’t do it without notes. I don’t have the natural talent to play by ear. But I sure am glad that I’m now able to get up to the same speed as a concert pianist (I listen to recordings on Apple Music or YouTube in order to improve) and it gives me such a thrill.
You see, prior to the pandemic I struggled to read notes beyond the stanza, and especially sharps and flats. Currently this is still a struggle and I prefer pieces in a key with fewer sharps and flats. C major is my favourite.
But I now feel it’s true, that practise makes perfect and the more times you do something the easier it gets. So if you’re struggling with anything, just go slow and repetition truly helps. (Watch the movie Groundhog Day) You’ll definitely get there. It took me since the April 2020 Lockdown, so essentially 2 years and just 10 minutes a day.
On days I don’t get a chance to play I truly miss it. Then I come back with a vengeance, and am motivated to play for about 30 minutes instead. I used to worry that the neighbours would write a complaint about the noise pollution but they never did. Just my paranoia I guess.
I’m thankful to the pandemic for bringing classical music back to me. Never knew how much joy I would get out of it. It’s the only time I don’t feel like I’m having a brain fog and that chemo has caused permanent damage or impairment to my cognitive function.
It’s the only time I feel I can focus and have a kind of peaceful clarity. A serenity. It helps that my mum always mentions she loves hearing me play. She always boosts my ego.
I just wish my Papa could hear me play too because he always made me feel like I was the Bee’s Knees. Maybe he can? I wish.
I also have this same feeling when I write. It allows me process my thoughts. It’s almost meditative. Writing, playing the piano and walking.
These three things. Thankful I get to do these.