Music, for me, has always been a strictly passive affair. I listen to it. I might hum along a bit or even sing a little when no one is listening. I do not play any instruments. Or did not, actually. In December 2017 we bought a piano. My girlfriend has been playing recorder for over 25 years. She can read sheet music and play along with what she reads. I can’t.
Or actually, I couldn’t. It is starting to be something that I understand, at least the basics. When we decided to buy the piano, I decided I wanted to take lessons. Not that I see myself playing in big venues anytime soon, but if the thing is in my house, I would like at least a rudimentary understanding of its workings.
So, every Thursday night for the last 6 months, a very nice lady comes to our house to teach us how to play the piano. We take turns, so I have a lesson every 2 weeks. And it is challenging. Starting at the very beginning, as I did, means playing children’s songs a lot. That is not necessarily bad, but my hands are itching to play some music I actually listen to. Currently, I am far away from that.
But I am having fun learning and playing. And I notice it actually helps me with my mental state. Playing requires so much focus that thoughts about things not related to the music tend to disappear for a while. There has been some research on the health benefits of playing music, so I am actually doing something that is good for me in several ways AND I am having fun. I’m curious where this will take me.