When I was 5, I remember mom telling me, I’m a big girl now. And ‘big’ girls gotta learn stuff, and asked, what would I like to learn? She explained good little girls usually take up ballet, piano or violin. Can’t remember what I said exactly, but remembered clearly that I complained to daddy and said I dont wanna be a girl, I wanna learn to fight! Err.. dont ask why.. but i guess I wasnt a girly girl.. (dad reminded me of this recently actually.. ) Apparently when I was little, I wanted to be a boy. I hated anything girly. Pink was the colour I hated the most. However, as mom does best, she nagged and nagged and I finally chose one.. chose piano. Mainly cos I dont have to wear that silly tutu or stuck any instrument under my chin. 😛
So I remembered my 1st piano very clearly. It was bloody huge ass to me. I cant reach all the keys. Heck my feet cant touch the ground. I’m like.. must I use all these keys in one song??? I almost regretted my decision. My 1st music lessons was in Yamaha Music, Ong Kim Wee. Cant remember my teacher much, but I was wondering if im playing the piano, why am i learning other instrument. Mom used to work just next door, so I remember so clearly how I used to get bored in class and told the teacher I need to wee wee, but i ran next door to peep at mom instead. Yea Im kind of weird like that.
My serious piano lessons begin with a private teacher. Again cant really remember her name now, its something that sounded quite strange. Anywayssss… she was quite nice. Rather strict though, but guess I was too adorable for her to smack my fingers. Well actually she did it once or twice, but it didnt hurt that much, I cried some crocodile tears anyways and she didnt do it all too often. 🙂
What I hated the most about my lessons is the sight reading part. Dont know if its my imagination, but I somehow always play whatever I want and not what I am reading. I totally sucked at it. To make things worst, I refuse to admit I sucked. Remembered during one of my exams, think it was Grade 4, i totally goreng-ed the sight reading portion. Suprisingly, my gwai poh examiner laughed so hard. Probably Im the youngest candidate that year, she let me off easily. Just told my tutor to let me practice more of it. Mom gave me hell though… sigh
I ditched my tutor when I was in Grade 6. Guess the brat in me was showing. We disagree in many ways, and told mom I wanted to quit. Stopped a year or so, and continued with another teached, Mom’s aunty actually. She was a fantastic pianist and a great teacher. Guess that was the time I truly enjoyed playing. It wasnt so much about getting distinctions in examinations, it was more about letting me play pieces I want. It was mom and the ex tutor that always stressed on the importance of having good grades in exams, putting so much pressure on me. And I was so little to understand that I wasnt really enjoying those pieces. I practice every evening the same songs again and again but never truly loving those pieces. But this new tutor was truly a breath of fresh air. Practise is still always a must, but she always stop in btw classes, fed me food and asked me if I was happy, and if I was enjoying my lessons that day. I played lots of pop hits for her which I loved so much (being a teenager and all…) and I never have to practice scales for the hundreth time in front of her! All I need to barter for her kindness was a mere passing mark but assure her I’m enjoying my time with the piano. She explained to me how good pianist always love what they are playing, and hates to be forced and wont be. The moment we start dreading touching the piano, thats the moment we stop being a true pianist. That everyone, is truly a sign of a good tutor. 🙂
Years have passed now, and somehow last night when I was so wide awake (which happens a lot recentlty), I’ve thought so much about my past, the life I left behind. What happened to the girl who just want to play the piano for her own entertainment, for fun, rather than playing for a gold cert with Distinctions on it? What happened to the girl who wasnt afraid to ditch her tutor who wasnt teaching her right? What happened to the girl who is not afraid to be herself? Most of all, what happened to the girl who used to love herself, love her life and love her pieces so much? I am so not what I am these days. In fact I am the direct opposite. I gotta find ways to be what I used to be again, I miss her…. I truly do….
I was so sentimental when I left Malacca about 10 years back. I left in a bad way actually, quite abruptedly. More like running away. Just wanted to start fresh, eager to fly free. However, of all things, I insisted that I took the piano with me. It was huge, heavy & bulky. But I was stubborn. I thought it would be my only friend. However, being in a new city, new environment, new life, it was forgotten. I’ve actually not been playing seriously for about 10 years now. :(. One thing I am still thankful of, despite moving a few times, it has always stuck around with me.
I recently stumbled upon this song. A pretty sickening hit for some of you, for it has flooded all radio stations for quite some time. But this piano version got me hooked. Somehow made me feel like playing again.. A tunesman is coming tomorrow to fix that 20 year old piano.. keeping my fingers crossed.
Enjoy this and for those of you out there who felt you missed your old self too, try to find yourself again. 🙂