Playing by heart

I’ve recently returned to serving in the music ministry after a three-year break.
So once a month, I pack dinner and leave from work to join a group of other musicians in church to hammer away at the keys for Sunday worship’s song line-up.

I’ve always loved playing the piano. I won’t say I loved the ABRSM exams…they seemed more like a necessary evil at the time. But I recognise that they have helped shaped my technique and skills for the kind of music I like to play nowadays.

So, after three years, has anything changed?
Yes, indeed.

I remember going for suppers with the team after rehearsals at the nearby prata and nasi lemak shop. Hanging out till really late. Really bad when the next day was after all a working day, but we were young and carefree then.

Now, I rush home immediately so that maybe I can still catch the kids’ bedtime and be there to pat them to sleep.

I remember being really idealistic about what I wanted to achieve, and wondering why didn’t everybody have the kind of energy and drive I had.

Now, I am still…fairly idealistic but motherhood has mellowed me down. Created a more relaxed personality, which hopefully doesn’t scare as many people. Hopefully.
God bless those precious people who put up with my 20-something idealism.

I remember sitting at the piano for hours and hours, experimenting with introductions, riffs, rolls, chord progressions and the like.
Now, if I could find the time just to sit and pen down the chords I need, for half an hour, that would be cause for celebration!  😀

I remember jam sessions organized at the drop of a hat. Meeting up to just play music with no particular agenda in mind.
Now, the only jam session I know is the one where I ask my daughter if she would like strawberry or apricot in her sandwich. 😉

I remember not having my own piano, and making my way down regularly to the church every few days to play the piano. Any excuse that would get me access to the sanctuary to spend time on the beloved worn brown piano was a good one.
Bible study?     Sure, why not?
Jam session at short notice?   Be there in 20 minutes flat.
Need a keyboardist to stand in?   Don’t need to look any further!

Our church worker passed me an old electronic keyboard that no one was using anymore, and that lasted me a good two-and-a-half years till the adapter went kaput.

Now, I have my own piano that I saved up to buy. It’s a second-hand but it is the most expensive piece of furniture I’ve ever owned. And it will always have a place of honour in our living room.

I remember wearing out the floor in the warehouse, circling around each second hand piano on sale, multiple times. Testing, shortlisting, testing and shortlisting some more till I narrowed it down to two units I felt were worth considering. One last song on each and then I signed on the dotted line and handed over the money for my black beauty.

And so now, at anytime I just feel like playing, say at midnight, I have total freedom to do so. Bliss.

Has anything changed?
Yes.  Lots.  Much more than what I’ve written here.

But as they say, there are some things that never change, and that, for me, I believe, is the unwavering passion I harbour for playing the piano.

Tinkering on the ivories, it’s just…cathartic in so many ways I can’t explain.  🙂


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