I think I was born to be a late bloomer. I have little doubt that I was late, even in the “sport” of learning to walk. Physical aptitude doesn’t seem to be my thing! Except, of course, for playing the piano. I have absolutely no idea where this ability came from. I did have a brief encounter with the accordion when I was quite young. A test I took said I had musical aptitude; my parents thought the test results were probably a “come-on” for the expense of the classes. I did love my little red accordion, but abandoned it when we moved.
My piano career started quite casually, when my mom asked me if I wanted to take some money I had saved, and buy a piano. I was in sixth grade, about four or five years later than any of my peers had become chained to a piano bench. I actually started lessons before I had a piano; I practiced at a local church. I think it must be quite rare to have a set of abilities that make an avocation easy for a person; but, piano!!? To learn to read music, beyond merely reading notes, requires a natural ability for foreign language, for decoding. To learn to associate those symbols with complex movements at the piano requires other, high-level brain activity. And, the high degree of fine motor coordination required might be daunting to a young boy, much less one that always knew he was quite uncoordinated.
It wasn’t until years later that I learned I had completed a series of piano method books usually taking 6-8 years, in one year flat. I know I had no finesse, or real musical understanding, but I sure learned to process notes, rhythms, and flying piano keys. It’s one of many blessings that we humans get; something that comes naturally, something we didn’t have to work at, or earn. I have nothing else that has ever been that easy for me. And to this day, I consider myself “just a piano player”. Everything else I do, I’m just acting!