Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Music Memory

I practiced the piano this morning for the first time in about 2 years. My mom brought some of my old piano books to me last week, and this morning I head a break between my classes and no homework to do, so I went to the little practice rooms in the basement of the HFAC and played for about 45 minutes. Have you ever been to one of those practice rooms? They have them all grouped together with very little sound barriers between the rooms. Well, if they did have sound barriers, the other people were playing REALLY loud. And since you know that everyone can hear you play, you feel really self-conscious while playing. I mean, the people in the practice rooms are all music majors or emphasizing in piano performance or something. So I played pretty quiet at first, but eventually got louder and louder. At the end I was rocking out on Beethoven's Pathetique as loud as I could, even though I was making tons of mistakes.

The interesting thing I noticed is that when I played the songs I learned 8 or 9 years ago, the same thoughts and feelings I had at that time also came back to me. For instance, when I played a certain part of one song, I instantly remembered the smell of noodles from my piano teacher's apartment. I also remembered watching the animated Starship Troopers TV show, which had this song as it's theme song. I remembered playing this song on the piano in my old church building in Berlin and how one of the notes in a crucial part of the song was badly out of tune and it always sounded like I made a mistake. I remember being worried about my classes in high school. In another section I remembered sitting at the piano in the room with the gold ceiling and my mom saying, "Practice that part five times before moving on!" And I still had trouble with that part.

Anyway, I just thought it was interesting how the music acted like a little time capsule so that I'll always remember the feelings of being 15 years old.


Kathy Haynie said...

Very cool. The memories, AND the fact that you can still play those songs (even with a few mistakes) from 15 years old. Mark is loving taking piano lessons at age 56. I wonder what he'll remember when he's 80 and goes back and plays the songs from now?

Patricia said...

Wow, reading this made me tear up a little. I love hearing you play the piano, and am so happy you are finding time for it now.
Music is a powerful tool. Sometimes when I hear a song from the late 70's I go back to an art class I had in high school where there was radio music playing as we worked.
Playing the piano is also great therapy for sorting out life's little conundrums!