dusting the ivories

My poor piano is suffering from months of neglect. It hasn't been tuned since my in-laws were here over Christmas last year, and I've only had one (count it! one!) real gig since Anya was born. Next month, however, I have a big performance coming up: a 4-hand recital with my teacher from college. I'm excited and honored to share a program with her. It's a big deal for me.

We finally settled on repertoire about a week ago - well, almost. The ball's in my court for choosing a few of the Hungarian Dances (Brahms) to close the first half, but the rest of the program is all set. This means, of course, that it's time to practice. The other morning when the kids both seemed pretty happy playing on the floor, I sat down to run through some scales. Tickling the ivories at last! Or, rather, dusting them. After every few scales I had to stop, sigh, and wipe the film of dust off my fingertips. And of course I only made it about halfway through before Daniel decided to join me. He likes to sit on the bench with me and play. Sometimes he makes requests: "Mom, sing 'Row Row Boat'!" I can't accomplish anything while he's sitting there, but I don't have the heart to make him leave me alone.

Anya's starting to develop an interest as well. How long before they're playing duets together? Or fighting over whose turn it is to practice? Or getting mad at each other for learning each other's music?*

Obviously, finding the time to practice is a challenge. I have nowhere to practice but home, so my only opportunity for serious work is when Stuart is here and can take the kids away to the park or the basement to play. I'm counting on the next several weekends and an upcoming trip to Kentucky at the end of the month to learn most of the music.

This is just the kind of performance I get stoked about. It pays nothing (will I ever make money in my profession?!) but I get to play great music with a musician I've known and respected for a long time. It's a small college in a small town so we're likely to get a pretty good-sized and very appreciative audience (unlike here in Madison where there is so much going on all the time nobody goes to anything.)

Now, I just need to finish dusting off the keys (truthfully, my scales are a tad rusty) and learn the music.

*My younger brother used to do that to me ALL THE TIME. I am older and was therefore supposed to be more advanced in piano lessons, but he would get a hold of my music and learn the first few measures, then play them over and over from memory just to get my goat. My goat was totally got. Now that I'm all grown up, I'm willing to admit he has a better ear than I do.


katie said…
I love that picture!

Yes, whenever I sit down to dink around on the piano, it's an immediate magnet -- everyone under 3 feet tall must play along.
Pam said…
That is the most AWESOME picture!!! I love it!!
Andre said…
Have fun performing Suze!

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