Growing up, my sisters and I took piano lessons. They began after I broke my arm during the summer before 5th grade. Mom had heard that it would be a good way to keep the muscles in my arm strong while the bone was healing. The bone eventually healed itself, the cast came off, but the lessons continued well on into high school. I didn't always enjoy (or appreciate it for that matter), but looking back, I am so glad to have had it because nowadays there isn't much that compares to being able to sit down and play an old favorite on my piano.
Somewhere around junior high, my mom started throwing out a "wouldn't it be nice if one you girls could play the organ at church?" from time to time. Maybe it's the "duty boundedness" or "people pleasing" traits of being the first born, but at some point I expressed interest in this. My mom hooked me up with a lady for lessons and I learned a song or two. And, eventually, I tried playing at a Saturday night mass. Add nerves to trying to play with a singer, plus add in a bunch of other voices (several singing at their own rates) in the congregation and it was too much for my little perfectionisty brain to handle. I don't really remember if the song went that bad or not, but what I do remember is a feeling of never wanting to do that again! It was too much. And when neither of my sisters tried after that, well, there went mom's dream too. Or has it...
Many years later, I have found myself a member of a smaller parish with a smaller parish family. Instead of multiple organists, we now only have two. One of whom is one of very best friends. I have watched these two ladies in recent months struggle with having to split a very busy schedule of Masses between themselves while thinking...maybe I can help. When they asked for anyone who could help with music for Masses in anyway, I stepped forward to at the very least try! I learned the chords (not knowing my chords by letter name has been part of my hang up until recently) for two songs and made my debut this morning.
The first song...well, let's just say...meh. I was not pleased. I had been practicing it faster at home than people were wanting to sing it and then I let my brain get involved. That is the first rule of playing for me-don't let my mind get involved, just let my hands do what they need to do, but my brain started thinking about it and then my fingers couldn't seem to find the right chords. I think I managed to keep the melody going most of the time, but there were several gaps and just out right wrong notes. UGH!
The second song went much better. I kept my mind at bay and let the fingers do the playing on their own and somehow the singing matched up with how I had practiced at home! Yippee! :) I was much more pleased!
So, it is going to take quite a bit of getting used to, but being older and wiser now, I am not giving up just yet! It will take some time and patience and if after several attempts, I don't feel it getting better, well then, we'll see. But for now, I will keep trying and maybe mom will get an "organ" player just yet. ;)