Thursday 4.15.10

I have a piano! Well, it’s a 5 octave keyboard with a plug that is a little finicky, speakers that crack, and it doesn’t really belong to me…but I can play it. I’ve been playing almost an hour each day since my counterpart brought it out of hiding last weekend. I actually brought some sheet music with me, and they are all really impressed that I can read such complex stuff (I still know the basics by heart, and by that I mean Watermark). I started to explain a little bit about it, then realized how I don’t have nearly the musical vocabulary in Spanish necessary to explain how to read notes, key signatures, sharps and flats, quarter notes, eighth notes, crescendos, and especially why the treble and bass clef are different! My counterpart suggested that I start teaching the local children how to read music, because there are a lot of them who have their own keyboards and who can play; they just can’t read. I think that is a really great idea and I’m pretty excited about getting started. I told him I just needed a little time to get comfortable with the vocabulary and to write a couple lessons.

My counterpart also has two guitars which I’ve been playing pretty regularly, though whenever I start playing somebody in the family comes to give me an audience, which only makes me nervous and not willing to sing so I haven’t gotten anywhere with that. I’m hoping that I’ll be able to find some townspeople who want to play more than church music. Or maybe I could play the church music with them and find some way to slip in there how it’s not necessary to scream at the top of your lungs every time you’re singing. Either way I’m happy to be around music. I’ve always been able to just slip away a little from the world and get absolved in whatever piece I’m playing, and I’ve missed that the past three months where I didn’t have much access to playing an instrument. Listening to music is okay, but it just doesn’t have the same affect on me. Besides, in any given place in my town I’m almost guaranteed to be hearing music blaring from three different sets of speakers all at the same time. Right now: 1) US hip-hop, 2) Evangelical sung-by-a-6-year-old propaganda, and 3) some religious music that sounds like it is being sung by Alvin and the Chipmunks. You can see how listening to music is losing my interest more and more each day.

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