Anyone willing to share memories of taking piano lessons as a kid? I’m writing a scene for two sisters, ages 15 and 10. They are both beginners. The older one won’t have the patience for practice, but the younger one will take to it and make progress more quickly.
My own experience of learning piano is too modern and adult and cerebral to translate into a 19th century child’s point of view. I know, for example, that I’m combining left brain analysis with right brain pattern recognition and motor memory. That understanding may go into the background of the scene, but it can’t be in the foreground.
So: if you had a very old-fashioned piano teacher, what were lessons like? Did you get smacked with a ruler if you hit a wrong note? Did she hold a piece of paper over your hands so you couldn’t look at the keyboard while playing? What kind of exercises did you do in the very beginning?
More importantly, what were your emotions about going to lessons, whether you hated them or loved them? I need as much specificity as you can provide. Moments of frustration. Moments of epiphany. The piece that finally ripped your patience to shreds and made you quit. The one that made you catch your breath and think, Yes. I can do this…
If you send something I can use in the book, your name goes into the Author’s Note at the end. (Not much of a bribe, but it’ll have to do!) On the other hand, if you want anonymity, you can email me your story instead of adding it to the comments below. Thanks in advance! –Mary
P.S. Molly Houston just sent a link to this Eddie Izzard routine about taking music lessons as a kid vs. learning as an adult. Warning for the sensitive: this video is rated L for strong language and MM for Male Mascara.