One of my biggest regrets was my choices with music. When I was in elementary school, I played the violin. I was no Itzhak Perlman, but I was part of the Littleton Honor Orchestra and I actually enjoyed playing. It’s amazing what we do and think as children, and as I approached Middle School, it quickly became apparent that playing the violin wasn’t cool. After all, I was a football player and my friends made it known that I couldn’t do that and be a music nerd at the same time. So I quit. Being 10 times the violinist that I ever was a football player, I obviously made a bad choice.
(The only known picture of my playing violin. Don’t ask me about the ridiculous getup because I don’t remember why we had to wear costumes. But I think this was from our 6th Grade continuation ceremony. The only thing I remember is that I played “The Impossible Dream” with another violinist in front of the entire school and it’s a great memory to me.)
Still, I always enjoyed music, and we had that old piano sitting in the corner. I finally decided that I could do that and my friends would never have to know. So, when I was about 13, I started taking piano lessons from Mr. Myers, the old guy who lived behind us, and who was previously my violin teacher. I played for a few years, but once I reached High School, there were too many other distractions, so once again, I quit. I really loved playing piano, but I can honestly say I never developed into the kind of pianist that I wanted to be, mostly because I was lazy and didn’t want to practice. Fast forward 15 years, and in 2001, after I graduated from college, I decided to start playing again. I bought myself a keyboard and found a new teacher. I did that for several years and, as before, really enjoyed it. But once again, life took over. After we moved in 2009, I sold my keyboard and decided I was probably done playing.
I guess you get an itch for something that you can sometimes never scratch. Once the girls all graduated High School, and I finished my Master’s degree, and life settled down just a little, I told Felicia I wanted to start playing again. I talked to my folks about getting the old piano moved to my house and we got that done just yesterday. It’s like having an old friend around and I can’t wait to start playing again. With modern technology, there are apps and programs and YouTube videos galore, so I don’t know if I’ll be taking lessons again, but I do know that some of my free time will be dedicated to playing again. I may never be Billy Joel, but it’s not going to stop me from trying!