The first instrument that I learnt to play was the Recorder. A small, hand-held woodwind device which, when used excessively, would irritate anyone close enough to hear it. Though simple and somewhat annoying, the Recorder was and is an effective means of introducing younger children into the world of music.
I can vaguely recall the memory of my second infatuation with a musical instrument. It was so many years ago when my family and I attended a festival of some sort and it was here that I first laid eyes upon a Piano. It was such a beautiful piece of work. An instrument that was both aesthetically and aurally pleasing. As any young child in my situation would have done, I pressured my parents into buying me one.
It was either my Birthday or Christmas when I was given the large, box-shaped present. I began systematticaly unwrapping the gift so as to maintain the condition of the wrapping paper – a practise that I have finally left behind me. “Just rip it to pieces” they urged me, aware at how long this would take if left to my own devices. Obliging them, I went at it with both hands, revealing not a Piano, but a Keyboard. Sure, it wasn’t a magnificent, glossy black Piano, but what did I expect? I mustn’t have even been ten years old at the time. It didn’t matter though. I was euphoric. Before me sat an ‘adult’ instrument.
As I stood in front my new Keyboard and began playing random keys with increasing gusto I realised how beautiful it sounded. I was Bach, Beethoven, Mozart and Tchaikovsky all rolled into one small child that had no idea how bad he sounded. Needless to say, it didn’t take long for my parents to politely ask me to stop.
I ended up taking Piano lessons for about the next three years from a kind and patient elderly man and his wife in their family home. It was a comforting environment to be in. Surrounded by music in all forms, it encouraged their students to branch out into unknown areas. It was here that I participated in a friendly competition with the other students in front of our parents.
Unfortunately I ended up stopping my Piano lessons altogether and later sold the Keyboard to someone. I regret not persevering with it, but am grateful for spending the time that I did learning it’s secrets and even more so for my parents spoiling me with such a great gift. It taught me many things about musical theory and the implementation of it with an instrument – some of which i’ve haplessly forgotten.
There are a few more stories I have about Pianos and even more about music in general, but i’ll leave it at that for this post. I wonder if i’ll find another instrument to become obsessed with…