I just realised that I forgot to update about my piano lessons. I've signed up for a course of 10 half-hour sessions at the local Yamaha shop. It's not designed to give a grading or a certificate, but they do aim to teach you how to play a piece before the end of it - depending on how much practise you put in of course.
I love Scott Joplin's music. I really wanted to learn his Sunflower Slow Drag, but we couldn't find the score. Or the Maple Leaf Rag - but that has a scary amount of black notes. So we've settled for The Entertainer, which is in C major.
My teacher is a lovely Japanese girl. We spend rather more time clarifying language problems than we should, but that's OK if she doesn't have any lessons after mine! She's set me scales and exercises to practise too, and I'm noticing an improvement already.
There's one thing I can't get my head around though. She's given me the first 9 bars to learn! Now anyone who knows anything about music will know that it's mathematically rhythmic. You can't just stop after 9 bars. That's like singing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and stopping just before the second "little". Ouch. You can learn 8 bars, or 12 bars, or all 20 of the first phrase, but NOT just 9. So I'm being a teacher's pet and learning more because the soul in my body won't let me cut it short.
So far it's just about recognisable, but as fast as Grandpa Simpson on dope. My next lesson was supposed to be this afternoon, but I just had a call to say that the teacher is "on MC" (?) and can they "cancel" it until next Wednesday, same time. See what I mean about the communication trouble? Well, I have another week now to see if I can get the speed up to sound more like the effort of a severely arthritic tortoise.
Listen up Heffalump Child. Revenge is sweet.