I have always loved music, and from the time I was a little girl, I wanted to learn to play the piano. My parents put everything they had into keeping us clothed and fed, so music lessons weren't in the budget.
That desire stuck with me until I had my own children, and as soon as I felt they were old enough to take it seriously, I enrolled the boys in piano lessons. We rented an upright piano, and against their wishes (ah, the revenge of parenting) they have headed off every Monday to learn from Miss Kara.
When the boys started their lessons, I hatched a brilliant plan. Since I was sitting there anyway, I would pay attention to what they were learning. Then, while they were at school, I would practice, using their lesson books, and teach myself to play the piano right along with them.
Apparently, I'm a bit delusional. I think I lasted about a week. Without a teacher to correct my mistakes, and since I didn't have a lot of time to practice, my brilliant plan fizzled out. I briefly considered signing up for my own lessons, but there just wasn't enough time left every week to fit in another visit to Miss Kara.
For the last eight years, I have proudly listened to my boys grow into very skilled piano players. C stopped his lessons when he graduated from high school, but T plans to continue for another few years. He has reached a level where he will attend a few competitions, and at his most recent recital, he mastered Beethoven's Fur Elise.
All along I've told myself that giving the boys the gift of music has made up for my lack of opportunity, and it does make me extremely happy that they are getting to experience piano even though I couldn't.
But lately, as I've been trying to figure out what I'm going to do with myself when the boys fly the nest, I keep returning to that desire to learn to play.
Then something happened at T's recital last month that seemed like a sign. Halfway through the program, a man named Frank made his way to the front, and we were surprised, as there has never been an adult student before. He played his beginner piece beautifully, with a huge smile on his face. Miss Kara told me later that he was a retired teacher in his 60's, and he had wanted to play his whole life.
If Frank can do it, why can't I? I must admit to some lingering self doubt. Am I too old to learn something as complicated as the piano? Will I have the time to devote to practicing? But then I think, if my little boys can do it, so can I.
I think I'll give Miss Kara a call this week - I've decided it's never too late to learn.
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