Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Use it or Lose it
I'm always reading about how to avoid Alzheimers and Senile Dementia (one worries about things like this when you get to my age) and they're always saying to to stay mentally active and learn new things (in other words use it or lose it). So with that in mind I decided to learn to play the piano.
When I was 9 or 10 ( and Lord knows I can't remember being that young) my parents got us an old upright piano and my older sister Judy and I started taking piano lessons from a lady named Fern Viera (don't even ask how I remember her name) at $2.00 a lesson (they're now $25 for a half hour). I think Judy lasted a month and me a bit more. So basically I would be starting completely over, and given the price of lessons now I'd be teaching myself.
I started with a small Yamaha keyboard and used it the first year as I relearned everything. Last Fall I got an 88 key Yamaha with all the bells and whistles, but I was never very happy with it and this Spring I made the decision to buy a piano. And I love it!
When I started playing the keyboard Mac had just started playing the guitar (he too had played briefly as a child) and we thought we'd play music together, all the old rock songs. And it's true we can play a pretty decent Stairway to Heaven, but we don't play much together, for as it turned out, I can play rock and pop, but it's classical music I love! Who knew? I'd certainly had listened to very little classical music through the years and can say quite honestly that everything I know about classical music I learned from watching Bugs Bunny cartoons. But that's what I play most of the time.
I don't know if all this has kept Alzheimer at bay, but it certainly makes me think more than weeding the garden (one of my favorite mindless activities).