[tempo] lentando


seven years old was too early for me to start playing the piano. i know there are children who start even younger - so called "child prodigies" - but at seven i wasn't ready for it. i hated practicing and because of that, i h.a.t.e.d. performing.

see, i've never been one of those people to which things come naturally, so i have to work (really hard) for any kind of success. did you ever notice how it's difficult to work hard at something you don't enjoy? well, my version of daily study was banging out scales as loudly and annoyingly as possible to make the whole house resent the hour i had to sit at the keyboard (misery loves company, and all that).

needless to say, i quickly fell behind my peers and while other kids were flawlessly playing clementi sonatinas, i was fumbling over greensleeves with a beet-red face and sweaty hands. recitals were my private form of hell.

my parents held me to the practice though and i eventually came around... almost ten year later. by then, i was in high school and pretty much too far behind for any hope. but i found a new piano instructor who kindly took me in and she taught me to love music.

what i lacked in fundamental skills, i was able to cover up with dramatic expression. my piano teacher strategically chose slower arrangements that suited my technical ineptitude but allowed me to play THE HEART out of a piece. slower pieces meant that the notes were played thoughtfully; deliberately.

so while i was mentally revisiting 2013 last week, i realized that the year had been split pretty evenly in half by one event: the birth of my son. the first half of the year, i noticed, went by relatively slowly and on pace with the building anticipation of his birth. once he was born though, everything quickly sped back up, as if to make up for lost time. i was like that little girl at the piano again, tripping over notes. that's when i decided to slow.things.dowwwwn. in classical music, lentando is used  to indicate a gradual slowing of pace and a softer tempo. see what i did there? i brought this thing around full circle, is what.



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