Monday, June 23, 2008

In Arrears

I don't quite know how or why it happens, but all of a sudden I am very behind in both the reading and writing of blogs. For one thing, I have been reading more. Among other books, we had the latest Peter Robinson mystery (Inspector Banks) in from the library. Once Cuppa read it, I didn't have too much time before the due date, so I made it a priority. It was quite good. If you like mysteries, especially British ones, and haven't read this series, I suggest that you consider remedying that.

There have been other events going on too, including a fiddle workshop on the weekend. I had never been to one before, and my flaws were exposed: my brain doesn't process very quickly. I am finding out that fiddling is a different sort of beast. So many players play primarily by sound and memory rather than by sight (ie note). The instructor plays a bar and you are supposed to play it back. While that may work for me for a bar or two, my brain soon refuses to keep adding new stuff until it has mastered the old.

The first instructor took more pity on those of us who prefer the assurance of having sheet music in front of us, but the second was a little more ruthless. Nevertheless, it was an interesting and worthwhile experience despite the fact that I am rapidly coming to the realization that I will always be a beginner in terms of ability level — an advanced beginner, but a beginner nonetheless. I guess that's okay. Well ... it has to be okay. Doesn't it?

There are fiddlers, very accomplished ones, who barely read music. The one instructor that we had on the weekend said that he played for years (I think he said 14) before he learned how to read music. It's just a whole different world. While it's fun to be on the fringes of it, that's where I will remain.


Janet said...

Oooh a new mystery series! I love British mysteries. I'll have to look for this one.
I hear you about the fiddling. I play piano and I can sight read anything, but I absolutely have to have sheet music. I can pick out a few chords by ear, but then I have to write it down or i can't remember it.

Rachel & Natalie's Mommy said...

I feel your pain. I remember when I was younger, taking piano lessons, my instructor thought it would be best if I tried a "Playing by ear" program. Pffft - that didn't last long. I think I only ended up doing it for a couple of weeks and then finally everyone realized I was a sheet music kind of girl. :)

Anonymous said...

I've not been about much either and was feeling rather guilty about not visiting friends. I've had pc problems but hopefully, fingers crossed, they are all sorted now.
I found a book which I think yu will love, Amazon have it so if you are interested it might be worth purchasing.
It's Mammoth Book of Best British Mysteries by Jakubowski Maxim. I think there are twenty short British mysteries and it's had good reviews.
I'm reading a great book at the moment called, The Lovely Bones. I think it was on the best sellers list a year or so ago. I'm always last to hear about good stuff. It's bittersweet but very hard to put down.

womaninawindow said...

Doesn't that just give you a greater appreciation for those who get it so quickly and independantly and run with it? People like that always blow my mind. But good on you for trying!

Ginnie said...

When I took a week's workshop to learn to play the Dulcimer I found it almost impossible with a large group around me. When I got home I learned a lot on my own and really enjoy it. I don't read music but seem to get along OK... besides, I'm the only one who hears me !!

KGMom said...

So you have one of those uncooperative older brains too?
I must say I do resent all these body parts that don't want to behave--e.g. my eyes! Glasses--pah! I hate them. I am always laying them down and then I can't FIND them!

megz_mum said...

Good for you for even playing at all! I would love to learn to play, maybe when I have finished driving the girls to all their lessons.....Would love to read that book, sounds like my sort of thing!

Ruth said...

Thanks for the suggestion of the mystery series...just in time for a week at a cottage.

Dora said...

I've heard my hubby (retired music teacher) tell tons of people (young and old) that what you lack in technique or talent you can make up for with love and passion for music and practice.
The most important thing is that you LOVE the music and the process. As long as you are moving forward with a love for the music and process, you are winning.