I am a music teacher with a secret.
I’m sorry for all of those music teachers out there who also have this secret, but I have to expose it.
I don’t play the piano well.
Yes, a music teacher who doesn’t play the piano is more common than you may think. I love listening to the instrument, and am super envious of those who can play, but when it comes down to it, I suck.
I’ve always kinda known this, but I’ve learned ways to work around it, learn the guitar, improvise on simple bass lines a la cannon in d. Shame on me. As a kid I took a couple of weeks of “keyboarding” classes… Melodies were ok, but my unfamiliarity with treble clef was my bane. I became uninterested especially when both hands took action. Thinking back it was probably the dyslexia.
Fast forward to first year university, enter piano proficiency class Aka piano deficiency. Yes I learned a whole lot, but it didn’t get me to where I should have been. It threw my brain for a loop.
The guitar had foiled me for the longest time as well, but just recently(4 years ago) I managed to pick it up, and now am a decent player. Being thrown into teaching guitar courses and clubs helped.
Yesterday I failed the 88 keys once again. Wednesday morning I was approached to see if I could do some accompaniment for the Missoula play “the secret garden”, which has its performance friday in front of other teachers, the entire school and parts of the community. In my defense, yesterday I practiced my little butt off and managed to “learn” three of the 12 songs in this mini musical. My favourite of which is “honk if you love geese”, hilarious! Given another week and rehearsals with the kids, I could have pulled it off. So instead of going out there and possibly making a fool out of myself, I decided that I had to bow out.
I feel bad that I can’t do it. People expect that a music teacher can play the piano, and that disappoints me. The best I could have done is not embarrass myself a do a mediocre job. This would have little impact on how people see me. The worst that could happen is I screw up everything and make things worse, and people see me as less because I can’t do it.
I know I’m not a failure, and most likely this is just another skill on the pile of to do for those long blizzardy nights.
On the upswing I made the most amazing pizza last night!