Saturday, November 5, 2011

Cello Lessons

When I turned thirty I got divorced, jumped out of an airplane and decided I wanted to learn how to play the cello.

There is something about the instrument that just resonates with my guts.

I grew up in a small Pennsylvania town and the public school I attended did not offer strings as an option.  So as a child I chose to learn how to play the saxophone. Sadly I was not exposed to Jazz or The Blues at that age and did not have a clue about the full potential of the instrument. The musical selections we played in band were limited to marches, college fight songs, modified orchestral pieces and the occasional bad interpretation of a Beatles song. My interest in the instrument waned. "On Wisconsin" did not stir my soul.

Then I heard Bach's Cello Suites. I think I actually cried. I wanted to be able to express that beauty myself, to play that incredibly sensual instrument.  I bought a cello, took lessons and was humbled.

I learned a few things about myself. I learned that my patience is in limited supply. I learned that synapses don't form as quickly as an adult. I learned that I really don't like being lousy at something. That last one has given me lots of fodder for introspection.


A Digital Representation of Bach's Cello Suite No. 1,

I did give up the lessons and sold the cello at a ridiculously low price to the parents of a very enthusiastic little kid just starting out on his musical journey. He had the extra brain capacity to make a go of it.  Maybe he is a virtuoso now graduating Julliard. I hope so, my own little Red Violin moment. 

For now, in this lifetime, I will take pleasure in the musical mastery of others. I make an effort to see live music as much as possible. And I enjoy the company of dear friends who have the skills I do not.

A few years later I did buy another saxophone--and I still have it, waiting for the day I have some extra time to give it another go and have a little enjoyment.

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