Sunday, December 16


It all started when I happened across my Dad's old recorder in a drawer. I was only little, instantly fascinated with this wooden whistle and of course I immediately commenced to elicit ear splitting sounds from the instrument. My teeth marks are still tattooed into the soft wooden mouthpiece. Between screeching whistles I proclaimed: I want lessons. And I got them.

My bestest buddy and I would be delivered to the house of our teacher by my Mom, or sometimes the two of us would walk there together. Just the two of us. Oh, the delicious independence! The adventure! Of course it was no more than a ten minute walk from my Bestie's home, but as far as I was concerned we might as well have been travelling the outer reaches of the galaxy. We'd ring the bell and push with all our might once we were buzzzzed in.
We'd steal a glance at the wood workshop on the ground floor and hop on up the stairs, taking two steps at once. Amidst whole notes and half notes, between As and Cs, we'd ask to see our teacher's pressed flowers. Buttercups and daisies entombed between heavy paper and clear vinyl foil. Shiny.

Insistent as I'd been about learning to play the recorder, the lessons soon held a lot more excitement than the actual studying.

My daily practise was uninspired. I rattled through tunes at speed, paying little attention to accuracy. Occasionally Mom and I spiced up my sessions by pretending I was busking. She'd drop pennies into my little soap tin as she listened to the hair raising cacophony. Parents of "budding musicians" of the tone death variety: My heart goes out to you ;)

At Christmas my cousine played beautifully (she also started with the recorder, but soon she added the flute and the harp to her repertoire); Meanwhile I belted out Christmas songs with jarring inaccuracy, tremendous volume and at a speed more suited to a Formula 1 race. After a couple of tunes I was wheezing out of breath and more than ready to start ripping open the brightly wrapped presents under the tree. Naturally, I had been eyeing them up all through my performance.

As little suited as I was to playing an instrument, and a woodwind instrument at that, making the attempt as a child was quite the experience.

Deciding to try my luck with the guitar as an adult feels quite different. I sure enjoy cycling to my lessons through the dusky city, wrapped in layers of coats and capes, guitar slung across my back, watching my breath plume under the glow of street lights. But the periphery is no longer what it's all about. ;) I wanted lessons so there would be somebody other than YouTube to steer me in the right direction. But really it's all about coming home from work any old day, taking off my layers of coats, putting on the kettle and picking up that guitar for a little while. It's a fun new skill to work towards.

Do you play any instruments?
Did you learn as a child or an adult or maybe both?

necklace: etsy (Naju)
blouse: highstreet
cardi: supermarket
skirt: etsy (thetreasurecycle)
tights: online store
plastic heels: eBay


  1. Rebecca KummerfeldDecember 16, 2012

    Hah! I love your description of learning recorder. Practice is always a struggle! I remember making endless excuses to get out of it! But something clicked when I was 15 or 16 and I started to take it more seriously. Although that didn't seem to last - I haven't picked my clarinet up in months!

    You will have to share some of your guitar-paying success here on the blog! You tube end-of-term concerts?

  2. I've been playing the piano from the age of seven, but my heart isn't always as much into it as I think it should be.
    I'd love to learn to play the cello someday too. It's such a beautiful instrument!
    Enjoy your guitar :)

  3. What a charmingly whimsical outfit. The warm pastel colors inspire a calm in me, and I appreciate that since I'm usually pretty anxious during the holidays.  I've tried my hand at guitar in my early 20s, but was continuously no good.  Now that I'm a bit older and perhaps more patient, I might give it a go again, if only to play some of my favorite songs to sing along to. What a romantic image of you riding through the evening streets with your guitar strapped to your back. Even if you end up not being a proficient guitar player, at least you gave it a try, and that's really what matters. happy holidays.

  4. I never liked playing the recorder very much.  I played guitar for several years, and now I am learning to play the harp.  Such a wonderful instrument!

  5. Hehe :) I don't think I am quite ready to share - it's hard enouh to get myself to practice infront of David - the blogosphere will have to wait :P