Tuesday, September 1, 2009

on the keys...

For me, piano playing is something that I do to entertain myself, be closer to a loved one, or at times when a beautiful melody is playing in my head and I want to capture it on my keyboard. I don't do it to entertain people. Or to make a living out of it. It is not a hobby either. It is my way of life.

A lot of people don't get that. They don't understand why would I waste my talent on ME, myself. They think that it is a very selfish thing to do. They think it's arrogant. Maybe, that is so. I don't know.

For me, it's quite simple really. It´s like having a well. Your own well; in your own backyard. You regularly fetch water there because you need water to cook, clean, wash, drink... to live. My music is my well... my water. My source of life. My agua de vida, and it's not for public consumption. Sure, I can share it with others every now and then. But it should be in my own terms... my own time... my own liking.

So when I started teaching private lessons back in 2005, it was purely out of politeness. I had an 8-year old neighbor Sofia, who wanted to learn how to play the piano. She has a condition and I found it too hard say NO to her. A blue-eyed girl with an angelic face, and a smile of everlasting purity and innocence, who am I to say NO? It was not what I have planned to do here though.

Sofia is not the easiest student but she kind of grew on me. She has ADHD, an attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. She has problems with concentration, mental focus, and has a low self-esteem. When I first had her on the piano, her body trembled. I had to be very gentle with her.

It was not easy for both of us, of course. But now, Sofia can play Fur Elise, Brahm´s Waltz in A flat major, Comptine d'un autre été l'après, among other things.

Sometimes, she makes me cry with her playing. Maybe, because I have grown very fond of her.
She´s 12 now. But whenever she´s playing the piano, she remains this little girl to me... who, on that bright summer day, came knocking at my door,.. in her red, short, pretty dress... and asked me to take her on as my piano student.

Sofia and I know that she will not become a concert pianist. But in her, I see a glimpse of myself. For like myself, Sofia had found a home and a friend in her music.... like I did too, years ago.

12 comments:

buday said...

Wow, this reminded me immediately of a poem which goes in part:
"How do you measure success?
To laugh often and much;
To win the respect of intelligent people
and the affection of children;"

Ka-weird magpa-link sa sadiri ko na blog but the rest of the poem is yadi (posted it in 2007): http://immateur.blogspot.com/2007/07/choice-cut.html

Pinay in Dutchland said...

what a beautiful story. you touched lives with your own passion and thats the best thing about it. even if it's just one person, you know youve made a difference.

~Lopa said...

Awwww...
How wonderful...very touching...

Teach me to play piano too...

I believe there is nothing wrong in pleasing ME, myself... My current obsession to please myself is Karaoke, though I am really bad at singing ;)

cherie said...

nakamayad saiya an pag-piano. mayad ngani kay ikaw a nagturo, mapinasensya ka palan!

Droomvla said...

Melodie: *blush* ... kunyari lang ina. Friends kami kay dili ko gin pupulpog an kamot niya. LOL

Droomvla said...

@Pinay in Dutchland: Thanks! I'd like to think that I am touching lives but then again, my music is only for my ears. LOL

BTW, I have another student now who is also mentally challenged. But I discovered that they're the nicest Dutch kids I ever had .... They are courteous, respectful, and friendly. I wonder what's the link there. ;)

Droomvla said...

@Lopa: Glad to see you again... and thanks! If you have a piano and promise me you will play it everyday, I will teach you! hahahahahaha

I'm not actually the self-centered type. I even hate drawing attention to myself. But with music, I am greedy... I don't want to share it. It's too personal for me. I don't even play when my husband is around UNLESS it's his birthday or we had a fight and I'm very upset. LOL

Droomvla said...

Cherie: Ambot kun nakaayad. All I know is that, she feels happy, safe, and loved when she's playing the piano.

Dili ako patient actually, and you guys know that. I easily get bored. Dili mo ako mapa-ingkod sa opera house, unless I really love the opera. But when I am teaching, I become somebody else... somebody who is gentle, patient, and I love sharing my knowledge & inspiring my students.

In a way, teaching relaxes me. It soothes my senses. It makes me grounded. Nawawara an pagka temperamental ko na kun nagtutugtog ako sin Beethoven or Chopin kun minsan, nagkakararaot na biyo an pedal nan napuputol an strings. HAHAHAHHA

Jesusa said...

you have a gift my friend! i guess for your ears only is quite ok, hahaha..

Droomvla said...

Haen ina na regalo kay bukasan ko na. Harani na baga an pasko. HAHAHAHA

~Lopa said...

This is not fair... Now will i have to buy Piano, so that i can learn from you ? :o(
hahaha kidding... :o)

But seriously i do want to learn playing piano if not today.. some day...
May be when i have saved enough to buy a piano ;o)

Droomvla said...

@Lopa: you know if you really want to learn it... you can check out Marktplaats. They offer really cheap secondhand pianos there. I'm sure you will not have a hard time finding a piano teacher in your area. :)