I first thought of learning the piano in April, when my accompanist for the grade 3 violin exam turned out to be so nice. But I had two violin teachers and it seemed too much.
However, I have now parted company with my exam teacher - I felt I had to accept things handed down 'from above' without any chance to discuss or give my own opinion. My other teacher, a performer, is very willing to let me participate in my own learning process and he is caring and also great fun.
But the reason that I am now taking piano lessons is because my husband has had two major operations in the past two months and had to drop his own lessons till after Christmas, when he'll be 'allowed' a more normal life again. He had just moved to this teacher after his former teacher became seriously ill and has had to give up for a while. I felt sorry that we had messed the new piano teacher about & wanted to keep my spouse's slot open for him; I also remembered my earlier thought.
It hasn't worked out the way I expected. I'm 63 and the huge concentration needed to co-ordinate two hands and learn the bass clef notes makes me tired after ten minutes. I practise daily but it's a joyless chore, and it also reduces my time and energy for fiddle practice, where my real interest lies.
My piano teacher is lovely, and can't bear to think I'm not enjoying it, so this week she gave me a book to consolidate my experience of the first finger positions and told me to have fun and let her know when I'm ready to move on.
So I now have the added complication that when my husband goes back to her after Christmas, I'll be disappointing her if I don't carry on with the lessons.
My initial thought was that it's worth even a short course of lessons to familiarise myself with the bass clef - to learn about chords and harmonies, which I know nothing about - to have a visual representation of scales which would lead to a greater understanding of theory, in case I ever want to do violin exams again.
And also because I want any help available for my ageing brain - my 90 year old mother has dementia - and I have read that learning the piano in old age is about the best thing I can do.
But is it worth it, if it detracts from my violin playing - if I expend huge effort on it, and never get anywhere?
I am interested in hearing from any violinists who took up the piano in adulthood or later life. What is or was your experience?
I'd also like the benefit of advice from other members, on learning, on musical skills, on life and the best use of time.
Should I go on with these lessons for six months or a year? Or is it a waste of time?
Thanks in advance for any replies.
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