Thanks to this new toy...

...we've been spending more time playing in the basement the last couple days. It's still too cold to spend much time outside (though we'll go out for a few minutes at a time), and Daniel really needs a way to work off that excess toddler energy, so running around the basement it is!

Of course, I need something to do down there, so today in between loads of laundry, I started going through some stuff from my childhood that my parents brought during a visit a few years ago. I think the reasoning was: "Now that Susan has a house, let's bring all of her old crap to her and let HER deal with it!" I don't blame them a bit. In any case, the bags were mostly full of musty letters and birthday cards that I kept for who-knows what reason, a few old books, my first pair of glasses (which are a hoot--one of these days I'll take a picture and post it here), and a scrapbook of my old report cards and recital programs. Most of this stuff I got rid of. I'm not nostalgic for all the B-pluses I got in P.E. in 5th grade, nor am I interested in re-reading the card my grandma sent me when I turned twelve.

A few things I just have to keep, though. Like those glasses, and some newspaper clippings from when I won awards in 4-H sewing. And, in case you need further proof that I always was a big, huge GEEK-DORK-NERD in the biggest way, there were also some "newsletter articles" I wrote when I was about eleven. The topics were music and dolls and hoo boy will they provide some great blog fodder when I run out of other ideas. (Because I can take the humiliation.)

In fact, I will close today with this little gem I wrote 18 years ago. It's called "Composing a Song," and it's got some really sophisticated advice, so all of you composers out there (Andre, Scott, I'm talkin' to YOU!), take note. You might learn something.

Composing a song is a Gift that few people have, so if your piano teacher asks you to compose a song, don't let your mouth drop open at the request. Even though you're no Mozart, you can make a composition nice to listen to if you remember some things. First of all, don't make a three-measure piece, but don't drag it out, either. Making a looooong composition can bore you and anyone else that listens to it. Also, remember that you want variety in the theme. C, E, G, all the way through can get very dull, so you will want to change it and add something else to "decorate" it and give it finesse.
"And what about the variety," you say. A change of keys, dynamics, and rhythm patterns help a tremendous amount.
If you're fooling around trying to get something a tape recorder might help you remember a neat rhythm you might suddenly play. Just don't forget to use your imagination.


Tooz said…
That's a way cool rocket ship! I can imagine your little fellow really enjoys zooming around on it. I enjoyed reading your writing, too. I'm sorry I didn't get a chance to see you while you were here--maybe next time.
Claire said…
Oh my gosh... this just reminded me that Marc's folks are licking their chops to send Marc's load-o-crap once we're moved into our new house. The bigger bummer of it all is that Marc WILL want to keep it all for various lame reasons... like, a free little plastic MCC candle holder that he got at the MCC World Conference in India or that globe piggy bank that he used in 3rd grade during Lent to collect change. Seriously. I think I need to start strategizing how I can make that stuff slowly disappear, because it's not like he's going to remember to look for those specific things, you know?

Anyway... I'll be looking for those glasses!
Steph said…
Those are actually quite smart composition instruction considering how you were only, like, ten.

I love the "C, E, and G can get very dull" part. I used to sit at the piano and just play C E G E C E G E C E G E C over and over for absolutely no discernible reason on the planet. It think it only counts as an arpeggio exercise if you change keys once in a while. Perhaps I was composing? Maybe you heard me and decided intervention was necessary.
[Pam's blog] said…
Suze, your little kid comments are a *total* hoot! What a great idea to post them. I want to hear more of little Susan's advice!! Oh, and by the way, I LOVE the pic of Daniel with his neat new toy. :-)
Andre said…
Move over J.J. Fux! Suze's got a treatise that is DY-NO-MITE!! (mis-spelling intended=) Pretty sensible stuff if you ask me. . =)
Animal said…
1) You wrote that about composing a song when you were a KID?!? Damn, I'm not sure I write that well NOW!

2) It IS good advice! Unless you want to play live in the slots room of a that case, C-E-G will work just fine!

3) When I get the chance - which is admittedly not often - I like to wander through the slots room and quietly hum a dissonant pitch (like Eb, or B-natch) under my breath, just to see which of the nickel-pushers are really paying attention.

4) SWEET Retro Rocket! Tess' boss gave us one last year, so we'll see if The Rozzle is old enough to appreciate it this summer.
Becca said…
When Mom and Dad moved back into town, Mom left a ton of stuff at the old house for the bank to deal with. She didn't have the energy to excavate 20 years worth of stuff from the upstairs.

At first, I was a little miffed by that decision, then decided it was a blessing. I am a packrat extraordinaire; if I'd have had access to that stuff, my garage would be full. And since I hadn't gotten it in 10 years, I didn't need any of it.

That means I lost a lot of high school and college mementos--love notes, valentines, goofy Happy Meal toys, letters, term papers, and some pictures. But I figure all of that is really immaterial since its presence (or lack thereof) doesn't change the events of the past.
Lurve the rocket! Zoom, zoom!

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