This is Advent and I realize that there’s something right under my nose about which I ought to be more hopeful. Parishioner/friend Jill T. wrote on her blog about learning to play an instrument at 35. Her comments are here.
and here’s how I responded:
I think of myself as a musician, tho I play the guitar and banjo (some would immediately discount this because I put “banjo” and “musician” in the same paragraph…) mainly by ear. I can barely read music (my 9 and 14 yr old children read MUCH better than I), altho I have developed the ability to transpose keys and have memorized which key has however many sharps or flats.
I’m 48. And I continue to learn new techniques on the instruments that I do play.
But I want to learn the cello. I don’t have a cello. And so I am learning to play my mother’s violin as well as a viola that I have on loan. I am still not learning to read music on either–cheating, because I have a fairly decent ear–and so playing new and unfamiliar songs is a tedious trial-and-error exercise.
My children are very forgiving and so we will often have “family concerts” where my daughter plays the piano, my wife plays the hammered dulcimer, my son plays the bass and I’ll play the violin or viola. We’re actually starting to sound pretty good on Pachelbel’s Canon and a few other things.
I don’t happen to believe that we “have” or “need to learn to be content with just” anything. If it is our heart’s desire we can continue to do amazing things throughout the good lives with which God has gifted us.
[She asks some questions in her article to which I give these answers:]
my desire to play cello is not secret any more.
I don’t think I am a “real musician,” however I do hear music in my head all the time
you CAN learn a new instrument.
Oh, and I never get to play enough. 😉
I guess “I never get to play enough” is my Advent discipline. I need to take up and do those things that help me grow into what God has made me to be. The gifts that He has given me are things in my life that I need to tend and water (dare I suggest “exercise”?). Thanks, Jill, for helping me along with that!