Fingers Dance Through Life

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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!

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