Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Life's Best Lessons Are Learned on the Bench

So, I actually had a t-shirt that said that when I was younger. I got it at a Piano Festival I attended at BYU. Could I have been a bigger nerd? Probly not. So, when I begged all of you for blogging ideas, Erin asked me about piano---specifically, how much I practiced as a little kid. She also asked me my dream calling in church...which totally involves piano.

When I was in my hard-core, playing lots of piano, preparing for competitions, tour, recitals or what have you mode, I probly averaged one to two hours per day. I'm sure if my teacher knew that at the time, he'd have freaked out and told me to tack AT LEAST two more on each day. I'm sure if I had done that, I'd have ended up abhorring the piano despite all the cool things I got to do as a result. Usually the week or so before something big I'd try and put in at least 3, maybe 4 hours, but otherwise I tried to keep it under 90 minutes. And, in keeping with my nerdiness, I spent a huge part of that time sightreading cuz it's what I love most. And it would keep me entertained to try and play different things when I was spending so much time on ONE piece and needed a break. I remember when I was younger my mom used to set the buzzer for how long we had to practice. So while I look like I'm diligently working away in the above picture...I was most likely playing very softly listening for the buzzer because there was no way I was gonna sit at that bench any longer than was required!

Now, I'm teaching this cute little girl and let's hope she doesn't rely on her sightreading skills when it comes time for lessons as much as I did...

My dream calling in church would probly be Relief Society pianist. That may make me sound like a total slacker, but I'm pretty happy being a behind-the-scenes girl. Accompanists are needed, but they're rarely acknowledged. I'm okay with living my life that way.

34 comments:

Kristina P. said...

I know how to play, but I haven't played in years. I haven't had access to a piano in a long time. I wonder how much I remember.

LisAway said...

That calling sounds like preparation for motherhood: Absolutely necessary and definitely noticed (at least subconciously) but rarely acknowledged. :)

Deb said...

You need to move to our ward. All three of the ladies who play regularly are in Primary, myself included.

As someone who didn't study very much at that level, I really admire the dedication it takes.

I totally love to sight-read, though. It's really all I do anymore.

Kazzy said...

Can you please move to my ward? We have some great keyboardists, but so few admit to their talent and stay hidden.

Becca said...

Look how cute you are!!! I want to hear more about all the cool things you got to do as a result of piano because all I got to do was complain about practicing.

Machen family said...

How I love this post!! You should try to be the ward choir accomp. because that's where the fun is at! And I so understand the "sight reading" practicing. Most of my time practicing was for pieces not assigned to me! Growing up all I wanted was a baby grand piano, I didn't even want a car, just a piano to call my own.....

rychelle said...

look at adorable, tiny you playing the piano...awwww.

sara said...

That's my dream calling too... except I can't play the piano. Although with the way people sing in my ward, I doubt they'd notice. I bring ear plugs to choir practice.
Cute pictures!

annie valentine said...

Of all the things I'm willing to do in front of thousands of people, playing the piano is my number one WILL NOT. This is impressive. I'm just starting to teach Harry to plunk out songs from his head.

Erin said...

I wish I had sight read more. I am a terrible sight reader. I practiced for 90 mins a day, and you couldn't force me to do any more. I haven't had a piano calling in 11 years. I keep wondering why they don't use my talent? (I've done Primary secretary twice - does that mean I didn't do it right the first time?)

You have one student? Are you hoping to get more, or is one enough?

Debbie said...

I was wondering if you are starting to teach and that is why you have one student.

Hoggards said...

You're so funny! Steve is totally that way too about the callings. And I love how in that picture your feet as so far above the ground! Such a pretty little princess! :) Glad to hear you're teaching your niece!

T said...

I took lessons... for 3 weeks before I begged to quit...

which is HILARIOUS because I now occasionally play for the primary - anything under 3 flats and with me praying they want just the melody... Thank goodness for sight reading :)

JD said...

Had a buddy in high school with a shirt that read: "Gone Chopin. be Bach in a minuet."

It was painfully awesome.

Smart Helm said...

Accompanists are way up on my scale of amazing. I've tried to accompany and cant. So that means those who can are awesome (Cuz of course if I can't do it, it must be terribly hard).

Go you!

Jennie said...

Move to Boston....PLEASE move to Boston. We'll give you your dream calling in two seconds flat, I promise :D

Chris and Sara Waldron said...

Great post. I especially love the feet dangling, crossed over. My teacher actually assigned 10 minutes sightreading a day. I usually turned it into 20-30 minutes. And while you probably were pretty nerdy, Chrissy and I were right there with you at the festivals, wearing music shirts and all. :) Great memories playing duets!

Melissa Bastow said...

I never tell anyone that I can play the piano. I love to play, but I'm really just a closet player. Because if there are people in the room, my fingers suddenly turn into sausages that would rather slime all over the keys instead of play a single note of the right tune no matter how many times I have practiced.

Motherboard said...

I keep my talent hidden under a bushel.

I like the music on your blog. It's awesome!

(are you still in college? What's your major?)

Emily said...

I love you, in your cute dress, sitting on a piano bench with your ankles crossed like a perfect little lady! I envy you your sight reading. I am more of a by ear kind of person and am HORRIBLE at sight reading!

LaurieJ said...

You are amazingly dedicated! I am looking for a good tacher for my kids :-) Interested??

3 Bay B Chicks said...

You have way, way more talent than I ever will, Barbaloot. However, I do feel like I can definitely relate to what you're describing in this post.

I have long thought I would make an excellent back-up dancer for Britney.

:)

-Francesca

Sara @ Domestically Challenged said...

I am jealous that you can play! I seriously cannot even hear a beat to save my life. And? I get antsy sitting on a bench. that is why we NEED Relief Society Pianist like you.

Nutty Hamster Chick said...

The only person I play better than is No One. So the I only time I play is when there is no one else to play.

I often say I would rather give a talk in General Conference than play for people singing.

My dream calling is RS teacher. Teach for an hour once a month. So cushy. Right now I teach Gospel Doctrine twice a month, so that is close.

So fun meeting you yesterday. Love your pose in our group screaming picture.

Hope it won't be that long until we do that lunch thing again.

Debbie said...

Barbaloot!!!!! It was so fun to get to meet you yesterday. I'm glad I got to sit next to you so I could get to know you better. Can't wait to start reading more of your blog. You're so adorable, I love it!

SO said...

Wow! How old were you in that picture?? My kids practice to a timer as well. :)

Connie said...

I found you through Kazzy and had to comment on this post. I love the nerdy T-shirt saying. I had always wanted to take piano as a child but never did. We got a piano when my oldest were 3 and they started piano lessons when they were 5. All 8 of my kids took piano but only a few still play. However, I think they did learn alot of other things during that time.
I'm sure the RS presidency would love to have you as their pianist! Nothing wrong with that! :-)

Page said...

Barb, are you going to Cokeville for the 24th?? Let me know.

Rachel Sue said...

I found you on Crash's blog and thought I would come and say hi.

I wish I knew how to play the piano. When I was little I always wanted to learn and there was a lady in our ward who gave lessons. I loved this lady. The only problem was the year I was old enough to actually start, she quit teaching. I decided if she couldn't teach me, no one would. (the brilliance of my 6 year old self is astounding, I know.) So I never learned. And I totally regret it!

Becky said...

I'm pretty content to be in the needed-but-not-acknowledged category. Which is probably good, since my husband needs attention as often as he needs food. So about every two hours.

R Max said...

My son doesn't practice but is always so smooth at recitals... he gets his professionalism from me and his slackerism from his father.

charrette said...

I had no idea you were a pianist. I am too. In high school I used to try to practice 90 minutes before school and another couple of hours afterward. It didn't last long. I'm not a morning person. :) I decided to major in art after I botched a concerto competition. And I'm a lousy sightreader. (Even though I was the accompanist for a couple of voice teachers). But I totally echo your dream calling of Relief Society pianist. I had to leave that calling to serve in the primary presidency, and it was really hard for me to let go.

I stopped by today because I was totally thinking of you and our conversation about cousins when I wrote today's post.

Cheffie-Mom said...

I came here from David's authorblog. Congrats on the Post of the Day Award! I think you might like one of my recent posts - here is a link: http://www.dishingwithdebbie.com/wordpress/2009/07/12/grand-slam-calm/. Have a wonderful weekend!

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