(A pic of my fantasy music room in Paris)
The only time I play the piano now is at Christmas. I have a battered old carol book that gets pulled out every year and the fingers get dusted off. The violin does come out of it’s case occasionally – we got together with friends on the 4 Jan (should’ve been the 6, except that was a Monday) to celebrate an Armenian Christmas (none of us are Armenian) with gifts of traditional dress, food, music and dance. I was on the fiddle, the husband was singing, Charlie on the drums and Bella on the Tamborine: As is every parents right,The video will be used to mortify them on their eighteenth birthdays. Needless to say, it was a fabulous evening, of the type we need more of. For me, it was interesting in that it has always been the spontaneous music making that I have loved, not restricted by notes, rules and history. Neither of my children play instruments, they’ve been offered them, Bella even played the flute for a while, but it takes a lot of discipline to play an instrument well. And the truth is, much of that discipline comes via parents who can see the end game. Which does work to a certain extent. But the real heart is when a child will sit down and play just because they want to.
This is something, particularly as an ex-professional musician, I have thought a lot about; I would like Bella and Charlie to be able to create music themselves – it is one of life’s great joys – but maybe in a less formal way. And I think I’ve found the answer: I’ve come across Piano Note on Youtube. A series of piano lessons designed by song writer and recording artist Lisa Witt, where the manuscript is thrown out with the rule book, instead everything is taught through chords and chord progression. This means you progress much faster, develop your ears and learn to accompany yourself to your favourite songs. Who needs more?
Bella and I are playing for 15 minutes a day. We’re hoping to persuade Charlie to join us. And who knows, maybe it’ll lead to more amazing evenings like this one.
I hope so.
Laters, Kate x