Saturday, April 28, 2012

Writing Lesson in Music Class

As mentioned in my last post, I'm taking piano lessons. With five kids, my immigrant parents couldn't afford them. Now that I have lots of time on my hands, I'm treating myself to something I've always wanted to do.

In the last while, I've attended quite a few musical performances. Some of astonishing virtuosity. Others...not so much.

One virtuoso we were privileged to hear is Thomas Pandolfi. Totally blew me away. Between pieces, Thomas chatted about his work with Chopin's ├ętudes.

An etude is a study, or exercise, composed to develop a particular technical skill like moving one hand over the other. Thomas also mentioned studies by Hanon. In 1873, Charles Louis Hanon wrote a book of finger exercises for beginners like me.

Recently, my piano teacher assigned me some studies written by Carl Czerny (1791 – 1857). Beethoven was Czerny's teacher. Czerny in turn taught Franz Liszt who went on the write some real finger-twisting studies.

The music I'm using has been studied by countless students before me and will likely be played by countless more after me. Though Thomas is a genius, he likely played them, too. The continuity is awe-inspiring and comforting.

Everybody starts in the same place.

So what's all this got to do with writing?

Jane Austen, Bram Stoker, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle are familiar names to writers of romance, paranormal and mystery genres.

It doesn't matter if a book is issued in vellum, parchment, paper, or bytes, all writers are part of the continuity of the story.

And whether that story is told in music or words, we all start in the same place--with a wish in our hearts to entertain.

© Joan Leacott 2012, x-posted at


Mona Risk said...

Wow, Joan you are really getting good in music. I twitted your post and will promote it on PFS. I know a few musicians there who will love it.

Joan Leacott said...

Thank you, Mona! I'm having a lot of fun learning to play.

Ana Morgan said...

Great post, and congrats on pursuing a long-held dream. I love your proposition that writers and musicians at any stage and any age are part of the same stream of creativity.
The difference is whether you go for it.

Rolynn Anderson said...

Good for you! I stomped away from piano lessons at age 11...regretted it ever since! Rolynn

Paisley Kirkpatrick said...

This is a great post. You are so right when it comes to art - there are many forms. It sounds like a great experience for you to be taking piano lessons. Does it matter what age you start? As long as it lightens your heart to play, then you're doing the right thing.

Josie said...

I am a full-time piano teacher, and have been for 35 years. I'm enjoying your posts, and more importantly, am so glad to see that you're enjoying your lessons.