Tuesday, June 17, 2008

My harmonica experience

Hotel Room by Edward Hopper

You know the feeling you get after returning from a holiday abroad, that you don't want to unpack your bags? That's exactly what happened to me after my harmonica concert. For one week the bag I had been carrying around to practices and the actual day itself remained untouched. Only today did I finally muster up the willpower to open the bag and empty it. I suppose it's like declaring that I'm moving on. But seriously, for someone with a limited musical background like me (only Grade 2 piano), assimilating into a band and contributing to the music was an exhilarating process.

I joined only at the end of last year (during the November holiday practices, to be exact) but I'm astonished at my own progress. I guess it just proves that hard work and alot of heart goes into playing an instrument. I only wish I was half as wise when learning to play the piano. I suppose I was too immature then to give much serious thought or practice. I wasn't really in tune with the music; notes were just notes. My piano lessons were every Sunday evening. Every Sunday morning I would start my practice for the week for 45 minutes or less and then do my theory book, upon which halfway I would promptly fall asleep until my mum woke me up for lunch. I failed my Grade 2 practical and my theory book was filled with corrections, RE-corrections, RE-RE-corrections... Well, I suppose that's the difference between picking up an instrument on your accord and learning one just because your mummy wanted you to.

I think I've rediscovered the joy of playing an instrument. I didn't expect gaining such a sense of fulfillment from playing the harmonica; it always seemed deceptively easy. Perhaps it's a good thing that I've had some time since my stint in piano to mature. I hope I'm more attuned now to the nuances in the sounds made by different instruments and more appreciative of orchestral music.
A montage of items from my concert night:

(clockwise from left) the concert booklet that I helped design, the sash we used as part of our attire and my backstage ID

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