Two weeks ago when I had my last piano lesson, the annoyance of a Mercedes-Benz crashing its bumper into my carefully parked car door* overshadowed the experience of stepping back into the roll of a student. Thankfully, this week, my car remained safely parked in my teacher’s driveway.
When I sit down at HJ’s piano, there are two things going on in my head and neither of them translate to good performances.
Anxiety, fear, nerves. What am I doing here? I’m almost 24 years old: should I really be trying to pick this back up? Look at the people on Youtube playing the same pieces I’m playing: grade school kids, the whole lot of them. If I’m not ready by now, shouldn’t I just quit?
Excitement. Desire. Hope. It’s interesting how quickly I can slip back into the old student-teacher rhythm. Having a woman that I consider a friend as a teacher made me nervous for a while, but when I sit at her piano, concentrating on the music in front of me and the movement of my fingers, she becomes a stricter version of my childhood teacher, a version that has some slightly different ideas, a version that cares less about key signatures and more about hand positioning, fingering, and the movement of the music, a version that shares more of her personal life when the lesson is over. I have the same desire to please her, to prove myself worthy, in a sense, to prove that I am actually the advanced student I claim to be. And when something she tells me works? It sends tingles through my fingers.
After every lesson, the countdown to May takes on new life, when I can finally move my old Mason & Risch into our front room.
* The driver of the over-sized SUV well redeemed herself: she sent us to an awesome mechanic who not only matched the door new perfectly, silver stripe and all, but also buffed out a scrape from a previous parking lot altercation, waxed and detailed the exterior, and vacuumed and carpet cleaned the inside. Our car came back looking (almost) new. He even threw in a coupon for a free oil change!