Friday, April 16, 2010

Flashback Friday: Piano Lessons

Prompt # 6 from Mocha with Linda:
If you have a child in your life, your calendar for April and May is probably quickly filling up with end-of-year activities - performances, recitals, etc. Did you take lessons as a child? Piano or another instrument? Gymnastics or dance? Other types of lessons? Were they weekly? How much were you required to practice between lessons? Did you participate in recitals? If so, do any of them stand out in your memory? Did they foster a love or a hate for that activity? Did you want to take lessons in a certain thing that you never got to? And if you have kids now, how did your experiences with taking lessons like these impact the activities you had/have them do?
Yes, I took piano lessons as a child and teenager. The profesora lived around the corner and her name was Sra. Amelia (?) Villani de Jones. (Now I'm curious about the Jones surname in Argentina, and I wonder if she is still alive???)
I think my lessons were an hour a week. I never felt that I practiced enough (the perfectionist in me). However, recently reading some family letters from my grandparents archives, I came across a mention in my parents letter to them to the effect that I was quite faithful! In any case, I passed all ten annual exams and I believe ended up with the title of "Profesora de piano".
We did not have recitals as we know them here, but these exams were daunting events. We prepared and memorized several pieces for months. In December, after school was out, on our assigned day we went to the conservatory, el Conservatorio Santa Cecilia, in downtown Buenos Aires and when our turn came entered alone into the great room and played for the judges or examiners.
It was our BIG day. We dressed up and traveled by train and bus to the capital, so nervous and excited.
I still have one of the dresses my mother made me for the occasion.
I did enjoy playing the piano and still do. I eventually helped out by playing music for the church services, though not on the piano. The Templo, as we called our church building, had a harmonium, a fold up pump organ. I even played for a wedding once on that little armonio.
My dad and brothers played a variety of brass instruments.

I found only one photo where I am playing the piano at home for the family in our house on Chiclana in Don Bosco, a suburb of Buenos Aires.

A challenge for those who read my SIL's blog Just a Southern Girl:
Which one of my brothers is her hubby?


Barbara H. said...

My kids never liked recitals, but they'd really balk at that much pressure!

I love the picture of the family around the piano together.

Mocha with Linda said...

I didn't know Kim is your SIL! What fun. Blogging makes such neat connections.

Oh this is a familar looking picture time-wise! Love your dad's "Ward Cleaver" look with the suit on! People were so much more formal back then.

I'm going to guess the baby brother is Kim's husband.

Robin @ Be Still and Know said...

Oh my stars, you're Kim's SIL. I love her blog and read it practically very day. Love her, lover her, lover her!

Anywhoo, I think piano wins hands down on the childhood lessons.

Wonderful Flashback!


Robin @ Be Still and Know said...

As for my guess, not having any clue what-so-ever I will randomly pick the sweetie sitting in mom's (??) lap!


Elizabeth said...

what a GREAT picture!

Nel said...

I love the picture! And I have no idea which one is her husband. What fun. That is so interesting about your lessons. I bet the annual exams you had to play for were stressful. I love this Flashback Friday, such a good idea. It is fun to learn more about your blogging buddies and to meet new people. I have your SIL blog on my list, think I will add you also. Thanks for sharing.

until next time... nel

Kim said...

How fun that your commenters guessed correctly :-) I wonder who took the photo? Obviously Ivan was much more interested in the photographer than in your piano playing. LOL

bp said...

That's a neat picture you included! Thanks for sharing about your piano lesson memories.