Saturday afternoons I would pretend I had a stomachache and take a book with me into the bathroom and lock the door hoping my mother would give up on making me practice another four hours. Sometimes I would lay down on the bath mat and take a nap.
I loved music naturally, but hated so much being forced to play, and the long-fingered ears of my mother reaching into me from beyond the kitchen to tell me when I was out of tune or playing too slowly--she really was stupid in so many ways, not understanding that a student plays more and more slowly as they listen more conscientiously. Non-musicians do not realize that it takes much more concentration and effort to play slowly than it does to mechanically rip through notes.
My teachers felt sorry for me. But I wish that even one of them had had the courage to tell my mother to quit pushing.
I wanted to play beautifully for myself, but I wanted to play badly for her, to disappoint her, and to make her angry. I wanted to practice for myself in freedom from her constant criticism, with her in a different country, or dead.
December 13, 2005
unhook your aggregators...
and go looking for some fabulous new-to-you voices. Like Zulieka: