When I was ten years old, my mother hired a piano instructor for me. I owned the immensely popular and simple Casio SA 21. It wasn’t a great instrument but for me it created magic. I still have it. My instructor, a Bengali from the town of Siliguri, would arrive at my place at five pm sharp daily. He taught me the origin of music, the differences and similarities between music across the world and notes. The first few weeks all I learnt was notes. A, B, C, C major, C sharp, the whole lot of them. I learned them quickly enough and was impatient to play what for me was “actual music”. I wanted to play all the popular songs of that time and impress everyone. Naive and foolish ten year old.
Soon the daily classes and practise became monotonous. Regularity and schedules are the known enemies of creativity. I dreaded those two hours of continuous playing and re-playing of the same very notes. My teacher could sense my boredom. The next class he taught me a couple of my favorite songs. I became an overnight Mozart for my parents. I’d show off my newly acquired musical genius to all and sundry. The adults would shower me with compliments at my nimble finger work, the peers would turn green with jealously. I was living the dream. Now, I’d try to play new songs on my own. By the hit and trial method I figured out many new tunes and continued to dazzle the easy to please uncles and aunties. My parents too were very pleased. They thought they had given me a life-long hobby and passion.
My ten year old intelligent brain now fooled me into thinking that the teacher was not needed anymore. I mean, Beethoven didn’t need one, why should I? I had recently learned the word “prodigy” and called myself just that in front of my friends. They, I assume, went home and checked the dictionary and would act suitably impressed. It was embarrassing. I told my mother to stop the classes. She was surprised but agreed.
The years have passed and I have forgotten everything. I did not continue my classes. Stupid me. All through out school I had music as my extra-curricular subject. My school’s music teacher was impressed with the vestiges of my old knowledge. I remained complacent. Now, when I look back I want to smack myself in the head.
Children at the age of ten should not be allowed to make important decisions. Period. The piano is my favorite musical instrument. Ludovico Einaudi and Yiruma are my favorite pianists from this era. The sounds of a piano soothe me, comfort me and calm me down.
I still want to learn it but my schedule does not allow it. Its a sad state. I lost an excellent opportunity because in my head I was a star.
One day, when I have free time to devote, I shall learn the piano. It is on my bucket list.
I want to buy a white grand piano, place it in my home and play to my children sheer melody.