Saturday night there was a special and intimate piano recital at Margaret’s house. A select group of students were invited. Lucky me, I was one of them. This was my ‘first-ever’ recital, ever since I decided to learn playing piano a year ago, when my daughter started her study. I couldn’t resist the beautiful melody from this magic instrument, and I wanted to give it a try. For a person who never touched any instrument in my previous life, and didn’t even know where middle C is, it is not a surprise to take 100 times to do a single measure by putting two hands together. I wish I play Bach and Beethoven; I wish my fingers and body dancing with the music, just like a true pianist. The reality doesn’t turn out to be that easy.
My piece in the recital was ‘Gavotte’, a very simple song which I’d been working on for a month or two. I am sure everybody in our home sick of it already since I practiced too many times. Sitting in front of the grand piano especially for this recital, I knew something would be going wrong. I was not familiar with this piano, and the keys looked so strange and different from the ones at my home. But, I had to start. People already applauded for me, and what they were waiting for was just a cheerful song. — Very unfortunately — I made unbelievable quite-a-few mistakes. I even secretly wish people could shut down their ears, or they were not able to tell my mistakes. Neither of them would happen. The only good thing was, I finished it anyway. I heard applaud again, out of courtesy.
The recital was followed by a small party. People came to me and admired my encouragement. Yes, the encouragement I was proud of, but so embarrassing for me at this moment. I met Mr. Z, who is Margaret’s official adult student, in his 50s, a smart and neat gentleman. He played his beautiful piece in the recital, just like a song from heaven. I murmured to him that I started too late in my late 30s… I had no music gene from my family… everything was not perfect… After a few minutes, he came back to me again, with a old black notebook. “I was about to show you something I carry with me all the time.” What he presented me was a photo – a fairly old man playing a piano with his seemingly stiff fingers. “This is my Uncle. The picture was taken on his 99 year old birthday.” Mr. Z smiled at me. “Do a calculation, see how many years you still can learn and play.” Right, I might not be a long-live lady, but 99 minus 39 does give me an amazing number!
Forget all about ‘Gavotte’, I started trying a new piece yesterday. All I enjoy are the feelings that the beautiful melodies have brought — it is a world where you put all unhappiness and silly things behind.