Wednesday, September 08, 2010

A couple years ago...

My lovely niece C was about 10 and had been taking piano lessons four or five years and had reached an impressive level of proficiency, in my estimation. C was playing the very elegant Hungarian Rhapsody by Franz Liszt with its distinctive and ear-catching prelude.

Nephew F had just begun taking lessons a few months earlier, and Dad said "now you play something for us, F!" F proceeded to sit down and played that opening passage with the artistry of a seasoned performer. Then he turned and grinned at us all. How precocious!!!

Even C recognized the cleverness and smiled good-naturedly as baby brother delighted all in the house. C is a class act, and F will have to work for many moons to catch up to her skill with the piano. Still, F has a sense of style and showmanship that will carry him far with the piano and elsewhere.

F followed up that grandiose intro with the decidedly simpler, usual workman-like pieces piano students plod through in their early days of training. It's taken him a great deal of discipline to overcome that natural talent enough to allow his hands to be trained. You may not realize, but there is a very specific pedagogy for how ones hands travel across the keys, and that method is meant to make the fingers move smoothly through the registers and dextrously between spans of octaves or greater, fingers positioned to make that next leap.

F is a talented boy and I'm tremendously proud of him. He's a very handsome little boy (no bias here, scout's honor!), but that fairness of aspect is easily lost in the radiance of the bright sweetness of his personality.

No auntie was ever prouder of a niece and nephew than I am of mine, and today he's a birthday boy. Happy birthday, sweetie! *HUGS TO THEM BOTH*


Kris, in New England said...

It is totally true that piano playing does require discipline and technique; pure talent doesn't always mean you'll excel.

That said, once you do master the discipline and technique, if you can bring your talent to heel you make one helluva player!

I know because I have the discipline and the technique but unfortunately my talent is somewhat lacking. I make a good go of it but - I'm a hack. I'm a happy hack but...there it is.

Happiest of days to the cutie pie.

Anonymous said...

F says "I love you too! And I think you are the best Aunt in the whole world."