Monday, May 11, 2009
Music and Dancing - Sweet!
I spent part of the afternoon getting used to playing my mountain dulcimer again. It's self defense really, because my RV'ing friend Steven is coming by this weekend after attending a four-day dulcimer workshop in Arkansas. In his words, "I've fallen in love---with my dulcimer! So, I can't wait to hear him play.
I bought mine last summer while working in the Trinity Alps of Northern California, in the middle of the mountains - an absolutely beautiful place. It was so wonderful--and sweet--to learn how to play the instrument while sitting on a log near a stream or on the front porch of one of the cabins in the middle of the woods with no one else for miles around. And it sounded so perfect up there in the open air.
Perhaps that's why I've had such a difficult time getting back into practicing lately. Playing outdoors in the mountains is quite different from sitting in the house. Maybe tomorrow afternoon I'll go sit out in the back on the brick planter next to the fabulous-smelling honeysuckle - the heck with what neighbors might think. I've got to get some practicing done so we can play together as we've both been looking forward to it for a while.
Tonight I watched the 1984 movie, "Footloose" with Kevin Bacon again for probably the tenth time. Even though the story might be a little dated, I still love the music and the dancing. Same thing with the Whoopi Goldburg movie, "Sister Act." the singing and almost-dancing nuns are so much fun.
Having grown up with a dance-teacher mother (who's still teaching ballet in her 80's), a ballerina aunt, and grandparents who were musicians, I guess I come by the love of music and dancing naturally. My youngest daughter, while on dance team in high school, once told me I seemed so joyful when watching their competitions - and I was. It was a lot of fun.
It's the same way with playing the piano. My great-grandmother gave me my first lessons many, many years ago. Although my mother had to almost force me to practice, after I grew up and moved away, playing the piano became one opf those things I couldn't get enough of, especially lately when I have no piano or access to one. It's why I loved my few months working and living at the Desert View Tower above the desert in Southern California. The owner had a full-size keyboard and I was welcome to play anytime I desired. In fact, he and I talked a lot about our favorite music to play, such as Scott Joplin and Tom Lehrer. Someday I'm going to get a piano again. In the meantime, I'll see how much better I can get on the dulcimer.