In science, the phrase “back to the bench” typically means a return to the laboratory after a period of not doing experiments – usually caused by writing papers or grants, or in my case becoming a (gasp) manager.
Now my minions laugh themselves silly whenever I suggest that I’m going to perform an experiment more difficult than making the next pot of coffee. Its good theater – I act all indignant and remind them of science in the old days, where we had to make all our chemicals from scratch starting from nothing but ammonia and sea shells – and we were damn happy to do it. They shake their heads and walk away. Dang whippersnappers…
Anyway, the bench I’m getting back to is the piano bench. After the move to The Aerie and all the busy-ness and illness of the summer, my adherence to a strict practice schedule wavered. But the other week, I determined to get back to tickling the ivories (note: my piano keys are not ivory – no animals were harmed in its construction). I began practicing my previous pieces (including this Bach minuet in G-minor which I finally got) and looked in earnest for private lessons.
Last night, I had my first lesson with a private teacher. It was a little weird – I don’t like being scrutinized while I play (it was much easier in the relative anonymity of the classroom setting) but I know that this is really the best way to improve. She heard “my repertoire” and by the end I got over the nervousness I usually feel playing in front of someone. We also practiced technique – which is something I really want to concentrate on. Apparently, my fingering is fine, but my sight-reading leaves a little to be desired. So, I know what I’ll be practicing this week.
Also, I’ll want to add new pieces and I think this one by Schubert (Winterreise) will be one that I go for.
Its good to be back.