Monday, January 6, 2014

Thought for The Day - Practice Session



I was nine or ten years old, living on the West side of Chicago. My mom and I decided it would be a good idea for me to learn to play the piano. I guess there's a musician buried beneath all of the other creative stuff I do comfortably. Initially, she would take me, wait in the entry area, while I had my lesson. But eventually, I had to walk the four or five blocks by myself. I used that time to imagine my playing the songs I learned in class. Of course, the teacher suggested that I practice at home, but we didn't have a piano and small Casio keyboards weren't available so many years ago. But we had a small organ, which, when I think about it, was a blessing. I would try to play the songs I learned in class and it seemed like I never got the sound just right. But I would practice.

I had an older cousin who was far more gifted in music than I and on the day of a recital, his mom and mine were there. My playing was simple and choppy barely getting through the song without too many errors, but my cousin, he played like a young concerto! He had the look and the confidence as he played each note. The music lessons lasted maybe a year before we moved and I never was that good at playing. I did learn to place my hands on a piano or keyboard properly and I can still pick out middle C.

A few years ago, I tried my hand at poetry and unlike the piano lessons, there wasn't anyone to guide me. It was on my shoulders, but the burden seemed light. To express myself with words, creatively, with flow, pitch and depth...it flowed easily. Now, I'm not one to appear on a stage and read it - at least not yet - and there's all this expectation that one does it with the swagger and confidence of the "spoken word" crowd...that's not me! but I continue to practice word creativity; this is one way to do so.

I guess, in essence, the painting and drawing, the writing and now reading up on guitar playing - yeah, trying that now - are my practice sessions. And it all meant to serve, inform and uplift.