My parents had an old upright piano in the house we grew up in. it was horribly out-of-tune, and the ivory was broken off of several of the keys. A couple of the keys did not work at all!
I am a trumpet player by talent and training, but I was determined to learn how to play piano music. Graciously, my mom bought a couple of beginner piano books for us to try. Usually when no one else was around, I would sit for hours, practicing that old piano. As a trumpet player, I could read the "upper" notes on the G clef, and could pretty easily play the melody--but I had trouble reading the "lower" notes, and got really frustrated one day.
My mom walked in, and asked me what was wrong.(How do mothers know these things?)
I told her my dilemma...how it was so hard for me to read the "other" notes...and how frustrated I was getting.
My mom simply answered, "Then make it up--make up your own music." And she walked away.
So, I started to play, and experiment with songs I had already committed to memory--and make up music for the lower notes, or the left hand on the piano. Piano playing became fun!
Several months later, my special friend Julie showed up for Christmas. I wanted to show her a song I had made up. Finally, after my jealous little sister left us alone for a few minutes, I intently, intensely played the song for Julie. In the middle of the song, I looked up at her.
She started to cry!
And I cried, too.
I couldn't believe the reaction she had and the love that we felt for each other through the music of that old piano. It was sweet and simple, a moment that God touched my soul, and I didn't even know it at the time!
When you don't know what else to do, don't fret:
Just play it by ear, and make up your own music!
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