“It’s tendonitis,” the doctor said, cradling my left arm. “Playing a lot of tennis?”
Robin Sloane Seibert, Contributing Writer
Jeremy Denk says he never plays a piece of music the same way twice. Reading that, as a longtime fan of the celebrated pianist, reminded me of an issue I’ve been thinking about for a while: At what point will I have finished learning a composition? Does the finish line come when I have played the music at a consistent tempo?
This past summer, armed with 12 years of weekly lessons and two years of music theory, I achieved a goal I never thought possible—memorizing a piece of music.
Last year, a friend’s exuberant performance of seven Beethoven Bagatelles prompted me to learn one myself.
Since beginning adult piano lessons a decade ago, I have tried to ignore my left hand. Fixated on the treble clef and my right hand, I viewed the bass clef as a nuisance, a mere accompaniment to the more seductive melody.
Almost everyone has struggled with at least one subject in high school. Mine was language.
I have never been one to do anything slowly. I entered high school at age 12, college at 16, and was a vice president in a male-dominated industry at 30. That is, until I studied Haydn.