Tuesday, May 3, 2011

On Learning and Doing - Art Journey #3

I was doing the monthly tally up of my New Year's Aspirations and wasn't terribly happy with some of the results...
Actually it's the yoga results I wasn't happy with, and was kind of wondering what was going on in my head.
I love doing it, love how it makes me feel during and after, but many days it's a struggle to hit the mat and I couldn't think why.

And then I remembered this...

When I was about 14 my best friend had a piano in her home and I loved it, loved the idea of it.
 Pianos are interesting; they give a home soul.
And I wanted to play.

So I told my friend I wanted to learn and she offered to teach me what she knew and very generously suggested I could practice on theirs.

Practice? You have to practice?
Scales and notes and things? Bleah.

I tried it, for about half an hour, maybe two times in all.
It was interminable.

It was then we realized I didn't want to learn - I simply wanted to play. A song - just one; not a repertoire, not a recital - nothing ambitious, just a song...

And so I learned to play "If", a song sung by Barbra Streisand in A Star Is Born.
I think I actually got pretty good at it too.

You can learn pretty well if all your concentration is on only one thing...

My husband has never found this story amusing. 

He was an accomplished pianist at a very young age and suffered endless lessons and practice at the insistence of his parents. He even played in a recital at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa where he grew up.

So when I told him I too could play, he was most impressed. A girl in the wilds of the Yukon that knew her way around the piano? Then I had to clarify things a wee bit and it was downhill from there. He just didn't like the idea that one could parse out one song from a score of musical works (pun intended) and learn it well, with no knowledge of anything else musical.

And I said why not?

What I learned through this is: there are things you only want to know how to do, and things you want to spend lots of time doing. Things that you like the idea of doing and things you like to roll your sleeves up and actually do.

I have realized that I liked the idea of doing yoga every day far more than actually doing it... I am hoping with time that will change because I feel so unbelievably good after the past four months of Yoga Everyday A Lot.

So here's how April washed out:

Yoga Everyday 23/30
Fabric In 3.40m
Fabric Out 2.70m
1 Letter Written
3 Projects Started
3 New Projects Finished
4 Old Projects Finished

Can't say I'm thrilled with it, but I'm not terribly disappointed either..
But I like the idea of it.


Dorthe said...

Hi sweetie,
Oh do I know all this :)
Some years ago, I told Henning, that the old-(but nice looking) bycyckle standing in the garage, from his mother`s time here,-I would love to use.
He took it to be fixed---lots of money--- and it came home very nice and ready, to me making tours with it...... It is still there- I even did not use it one time.
I so love seing for my inner eye, me on the bike- driving through the nature landscape--BUT.....
You are much better that me -you actually do it- even not as much as you wants to do Jillayne.
Hugs, from me-

CosmoGirl Carla said...

Hi Jillayne! Good post! Gosh, your words . . . "didn't want to learn - simply wanted to play" really hit home for me with so many new things I want to do. Not wanting to go through the necessary time and steps to "learn" but impatiently want to "just do".

I do find with things, no matter what, that I've wanted to incorporate more regularly in my life, it takes a period of time of consciously doint it to get it part of that routine. Hopefully, for you, Yoga will eventually work it's way into a more regular routine for you.

Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

With me it's exercise, period. I've bought and sold two treadmills that I just grew tired of using. We now have a recumbent bike that sits in our family room unused. Oh, and I had an upright stationary bike once too that went the way of yard sale.

For me, exercise is something I'd love to aspire to doing regularly but HATE, HATE, HATE it. Boring! I'd rather be OUTSIDE walking, and we used to do that when we lived in a small town. Here, it's impossible on our dusty, dirt road with speeding cars. We have to drive a distance to a safe walking path. So, do we do it? No. Winter is impossible, summer too hot and once I take a shower...sorry...ain't taking another one!
The best laid plans of mice and men! And women!

Hugs, Diane

Marj Talbot said...

Music hath the power to soothe the savage beast. There's beast in us all isn't there? I learned to play as a child being taught by Mother. We had a pedal organ with one pedal operational. Mother knew the notes and we spent long hours "pumping" and punching the notes. Father provided an accordion which is still the favourite. ROLL OUT THE BARRELL - life is full of challenges and opportunities. Thanks for sharing and bringing back good memories.

Laura said...

Now all you need is to learn a single song on that violin of his...

Bead and Needle said...

I have ALWAYS wanted to know HOW to tap dance, of all things. Just so, like you, I could say I could to people and then prove it - of course, then I would have to buy the shoes, and who knows what else! I LOVE this post...and your list looks pretty good to me - the year is young! Happy Wednesday, Jillayne....Tanya

Becky Shander said...

It looks like your April went super well...I'm impressed with your 23/30 yoga sessions.

MosaicMagpie said...

This post is too funny and struck a "chord" with me. I too loved the idea of a piano and playing a song or two. My daughters are the same way. We each have a couple of songs we can play and the rest of the time the piano is just a pretty thing in the living room. I am the same way about other aspects in my life. There are very few things that I enjoy doing so much that I would do them everyday. But there are many things that I would like to learn and try my hand at occasionally.
Great Post....now where is MY yoga mat?

Createology said...

Oh how I can relate to this post. Piano...didn't learn by osmosis after buying a brand new one and making payments for years. Exercise...I do not like it until I actually do it which is pratically never. Recumbant bike and Nordic Track sit idle and lonely. Walking I like but too many excuses for that one. So last month I took a Zumba class. Well, how much fun it turned out to be. My group is all similar in shapes, sizes, ages and non-exercise ability. I don't love it but I do like it and had fun. One time per week and it only costs $4 per week. It is my gift to me and my health each week. Marvelous May to you my dear...

Celestina Marie Designs said...

Hi Jillayne,
I love this post and can so relate. It seems every Monday I would begin a new work out routine till I finally found a air stepper that I love and enjoy using. I keep it in my studio, jump on it while items are drying etc. and only step in 10-15 minute intervals. I get bored easy so small spurts serveral times a day work best for me.

Love your piano story too. I studied piano for 10 years and hated every minute of practice. But now looking back, I am so glad that I can sit down and read music. So glad you can play your song and enjoy it. You wanted to learn one piece and you did.

Looks like your April shaped up well. You accomplished a lot from your list. Can't believe it is May already. This year is flying by.

Have a wonderful weekend and special Mother's Day.
Hugs, Celestina Marie

Alisa said...

Yes, the idea of.
I own a cello, given to me by my Farmboy as a wedding gift, because I have always wanted to play.
But scales are SO boring!

Draffin Bears said...

Hi Jillayne,

You have acheieved such a lot in the month of April.
I think we can all relate to wanting to get so much done. How neat that you learned your piece on the piano.
I learned the piano and did not like all the practice, theory and exams that went with it.

Hope that you are having a lovely weekend

Michelle May (Shell) said...

I agree totally! So many things I like the idea of doing, but only a few I actually do. Great post girlfriend.
xx, shell