With life so busy, I find it hard to dedicate time to hobbies. When is there a spare minute in the day to dabble in something that a dictionary defines as ‘an activity done regularly in one's leisure time for pleasure’? Sad really. Isn’t life supposed to have some time for pleasure?
Well, I have been forced, well not really forced, but encouraged back into one of my hobbies recently. My parents are downsizing so my mother’s grand piano has come to me. It is such a beautiful, elegant instrument. I can’t believe it now sits in my sitting room.
Now, I used to play piano quite well. In fact at one point I was tossing up whether to go to university or to the conservatorium of music. However, I attended enough eisteddfods to know I was never going to be good enough to be a world-class concert pianist. Me being me, if I wasn’t going to do it perfectly, I wasn’t going to do it at all (I have matured a little since then). So, I stopped cold turkey and didn’t play for nearly twenty-five years!
|Me playing a Steinway (!!!) at the Bangalow Hall|
Then, about a year ago, Mum and I were discussing her move to a smaller home and she said, ‘The grand will be yours.’ Well, I had to deserve the instrument, didn’t I; so back to piano lessons I went.
I completed my grade five exam through Trinity College last Thursday. I believe I did okay. I did muck up a couple of sections in my pieces that I’d never mucked up before which was pretty frustrating, but I’m trying hard not to be too much of a perfectionist and enjoy the process (I read somewhere that that was important).
It’s so nice to be able to play again. Nice to have a hobby that is so vastly different to everything else I do in my day.
Do you have a hobby you love or one you’d love to try but still haven’t had a change to jump into? I’d love to hear all about it.
Jennifer’s latest book The Billionaire’s Passionate Revenge is currently available on Amazon, iBooks, Kobo and Google Play.
Jen, so envious of your grand piano! Although I must say I love mine which is an antique upright with beautiful carving on it (as you know!). A grand piano always makes such a statement in a room, doesn't it? I was thrilled pink to discover you and I had so much in common when it came to early musical training. I actually did go and start a music degree and it quickly became apparent to me that I was a slogger, not a talent. Sigh. But I've always kept it up with more or less dedication. I still play most days and it's one of my life's great pleasures. But going back and doing exams? I really take my hat off to you!!! Good luck for the results! Let us know how you go! xxxReplyDelete
I love your piano, Anna. So beautiful. It is lovely to be able to play, isn't it. It's brilliant that you play almost every day. I wish I had that dedication. I do exams because I (sadly) always need a goal, something to work towards, otherwise I probably would let the days slip by and not do any practice.ReplyDelete
It was very scary doing an exam after all these years. You remember what they were like!! General knowledge, technical work, hear tests and then the pieces. I'd forgotten so much. Ah well, that's a lesson in 'if you don't use it you lose it'.
I'd love to hear you play, next time we get together.
Right back at you! Actually I think because it was so important to me, I was always MUCH more nervous about piano exams than any other sort of exam. I'm actually thinking of following your lead one day and taking lessons again - there's something so all-encompassing about concentrating on a piece of music, isn't it? It's like a bath for your brain.Delete
Love that - a bath for your brain!!!Delete
A grand? Wow. No wonder you went back to practice. Fantastic that you're enjoying it too.ReplyDelete
I was just thinking the other day I'd like to make time to do a little of the embroidery I used to do, finish some half done cross stitches and a tapestry I've got in the cupboard. There's something soothing about time doing handiwork!
That does sound soothing, Annie.ReplyDelete
I used to do crafting things when I was kid, but haven't done much as a adult. I did a bit of knitting a few years ago in a effort to make me sit down occasionally. It didn't stick.
I feel sadly lacking as a human that I dont have any hobbies. I just like to read and go to the movies in my spare time.....and I don't really think they count. Le sigh. My hubby works with wood in his spare time and although it is sporadic he does create some beautiful things.ReplyDelete
I have seen your piano though and it is a wonderful thing and I always admire people who can play an instrument and pianos are particularly wonderful pieces of furniture too!
I also love to read and go to the movies, Amy and yes I think they can count.Delete
I do love having the grand in the house. Really does add a touch of class!
Love your grand, Jennifer. You must be so talented, you and Anna.ReplyDelete
I played the piano for about four years when I was a teen. I'd given up ballet as Dad said I was like a leaping heifer, but apparently I wasn't much lighter with my fingers on the keys. :) He was right. Now I do patchwork and cross stitch when I get the time. it's escapism for me.
Oh Sue, your naughty Dad. I'm sure you were a fabulous dancer and pianist! I have a few friends who have taken up piano later in life and love it. Perhaps now is the time.Delete
I always wanted to learn to play the piano when I was young but seeing as how we didn't have one Mum said no you see my best friend had one a pianola which I had heaps of fun with and sadly there is no room in my house for one today so my hobby is reading and although I do make time everyday for reading I still don't have enough hours in the day :)
Well done with the piano playing and you book is calling to me :)
Thanks Helen. Thrilled my book is calling you.Delete
That pianola sounds likes lots of fun. Shame you can't fit in a piano as it sounds like you would really love it.
How lovely to be able to play music- I applaud your talent and your commitment! I always wanted to play the piano, but we couldn't afford either the instrument or the lessons when I was growing up, so I made sure my boys were given the opportunity if they ever wanted to learn. Fortunately they both did learn piano (and guitar), my eldest reaching grade 7 before giving it up. I did have a couple years of lessons a few years ago and enjoyed them, but never found the time to practice properly. So I prefer to listen to those more accomplished than me! Trying to think of a hobby...I don't appear to have one other than reading. Good luck with your exam results- I'm sure you did fabulously!ReplyDelete
Wow, Louisa, grade 7 is pretty serious so your son must have been pretty good. I made it to grade 8 before letting it all slide.Delete
Yes, finding time to practice is very tough! I can't commit to the two hours a day which I used to do in led up to exams when I was younger (how on earth did I have so much time). So, I don't think I did as well as I did back then...but...that's okay.
Ah reading - such a lovely hobby!
How fabulous, Jennifer! I took 10 years of piano lessons, stopping when I was 16. I look back at what I was playing when I quit and can't imagine tackling those pieces now! I'm thankful I can still muddle about ;) As for the hobby I love (aside from reading, of course ;) ), it's ballet. I wanted dance lessons all those years I took piano, so I started when I was in college, and have tried to keep it up since... I'm thankful my husband's supportive and doesn't say a word about the time or expense!ReplyDelete
Oh Fedora, how wonderful that you took up dancing. I'm a frustrated dancer as my mother insisted I do piano and not dancing (she couldn't sew the costumes so that was the quick end to my dancing career). I think it is one of my greatest regrets in life.ReplyDelete
How incredibly wonderful that you are dancing. I wonder if it is completely too late for me. Might have to stick to tearing up the dance floor to ABBA at parties.
Much as I enjoy music, I don't have the rhythm required for playing it.ReplyDelete
I think I mentioned the last time this topic came up that I enoy spending time cross-stitching when I'm not reading with my hobbie time. In fact, I've recently finished a project that I designed myself for a friend. Happy to add you on FB if you want to check it out Jennifer.
Aside from that, can't think of any hobbies that I haven't tried that have a possibility of being acheived. I always feel like I want to try dancing when I see Dancing with the Stars, but that has no chance of happening due to a crudy ankle.
I'd love to see your cross-stitch, Lyn. You can find me at https://www.facebook.com/jennifer.s.george.31 and we can link up.ReplyDelete
I think that too when I see Dancing with the Stars. I used to watch that show religiously when it first hit TV. I'd love to be able to dance.
Yay, Jen! Congratulations on completing your Grad 5 exam for piano! I think that's fantastic! It's tough, isn't it, to get the balance right for the things that must be done and those that are done for pure enjoyment. It's all too easy to put those on the backburner.ReplyDelete
I dabble with the guitar and would like to make more time to improve. I confess I haven't picked it up for weeks now and I can just imagine how tender my finger tips will be when I do. They have nearly lost the tough skin that they'd begun to develop.
I'd love to hear you play the guitar, Sharon. My husband plays and he just loves it. I've tried but have zero talent when it come to instruments with strings.ReplyDelete
Jen, how wonderful that you took piano back up! Your mother's grand piano sounds utterly glorious. You're definitely going to be giving it a good home. :-)ReplyDelete
Can I call a PhD a hobby? ;-)
It is fun, Michelle, but really hard work. Wish I had more time to play really well.ReplyDelete
PhD - sure, hobby-central.