When I was in 4th grade, my elementary school allowed us to start playing stringed instruments, if we so chose. I jumped at the chance, and started playing violin. And you know what? I wasn’t half bad at it. I even got to be part of the Honors Strings program a year before I should have been allowed to. It was great, and I really enjoyed the violin. My only real goal at that point in my life was when I was in high school to be part of the “Strolling Strings,” which was where the high school kids would walk around and play their instruments. SO cool, I thought.
But then this thing happened where I went to a middle school that didn’t have a strings program, so I had to switch to band. And I decided to play the tenor saxophone, because I thought it was super bad-a. And for the next 7 years I played the tenor saxophone as my primary instrument, and got okay at it, but never as good as I could have if I would have devoted a ton of time to it.
Before my junior year of high school, I got to thinking that as cool as the tenor sax is, it isn’t very orchestral, and I liked the idea of playing a “real” classical instrument. So I picked up the bassoon. And so for a year in high school I played the bassoon, and was seriously terrible at it, and didn’t particularly enjoy it, but I did do it, so that is something.
Then my senior year of high school came around, and I had some free time. A bunch of free time, actually, and so I decided to sign up for intermediate band with all the beginners, and was going to learn new instruments, just for the heck of it. I became moderately proficient at the clarinet, and I realized that I hated the flute.
And then I graduated high school. And I stopped playing instruments all together. No longer a musician.
It wasn’t until years after finishing college that I started playing at all anymore. I played in a couple of summer musicals, as a clarinetist and saxophonist, and wasn’t terribly good, but had a good time doing it. But something had changed in my love of woodwind instruments, and I felt like that wasn’t really where I wanted to spend my time. So I took up classical guitar.
I took lessons for about a year, and was making really good progress. Classical guitar is incredibly hard, but also very rewarding, and very lovely to listen to. But after a year, it became hard to justify weekly lessons from a time standpoint, so I had to stop. Life got in the way. And I still plunk around on the guitar, but without a teacher it is kind of hard to be guided.
And then a week ago Kelly brought her piano over from her parents. And I fell in love. I’ve always wanted to play the piano, but never had one, and never really thought it would be possible to do two different things with my hands at once. But I’ve been playing for hours every night and really love it.
So I guess I don’t know where I’ll go from here. In an ideal world I’d have enough time and motivation to play the guitar and piano every night. That doesn’t exist, so I’ll probably just keep plunking around from one instrument to another, never really getting that good, but having some fun in the process.