This week’s Story Starter begins with a question: can you play the piano?
We did have a piano in the house (which sounds awfully grand, but wasn’t), though I never learned to play it.
My sister went to teacher training college, and was expected to be able to play the piano, the guitar, the recorder . . . so my parents bought a second-hand upright for her to practise on.
It was shabby, but Dad carefully sanded it all down and gave it a wood treatment so that it would blend in with our “lounge” furniture — all G-Plan teak back then in the Seventies.
So Big Sis learned whatever it was she needed to. I can’t remember if she actually had a piano teacher.
And then she tried to teach me.
And that’s when we knew, if it had ever been in doubt, that I have no patience.
If I’m learning something, I like early competence. That’s not really possible with a piano.
It was the same when I tried to learn the guitar. No fast results. I’m probably also not the least bit musical, which didn’t help.
Shame really. I wanted to take after my dad, who was a superb accordionist — not the Scottish Hogmanay show wheeze-box stuff, but proper continental-style on a 120-bass beauty.
It was the same when I went to stained glass art classes.
In week 1, we were to learn to cut plain glass. Week 2: start to cut coloured glass into shapes for your design. Week 3: start joining it all together with lead solder . . .
My weeks 1, 2 and 3 were still me trying to cut plain glass without shredding my fingers. I just couldn’t get the hang of it. Still have the scars.
There was no point in carrying on to Week 4 . . .
Anyway, back to the piano.
Some people will dream of playing and fail.
Others will dream of playing and succeed spectacularly.
Some will try, try, try . . .and never quite get there.
But it’s all in the trying.
A bit like writing, really.
If this piano isn’t your forte, you might find a different Story Starter can help you sit down to write. Click here to browse our archive.
You’ll also find all sorts of writing hints, tips and tricks by clicking here.