blogging, blogging about piano, Chopin, Chopin and phrasing, Chopin Waltz Op. 64 no. 2, Chopin Waltzes, Chopin's music

Salvaging the remains of a Ravaged piano lesson

As I stepped out my front door to investigate what sounded like three lawn mower engines powered up at FULL BLAST, eviscerating an Online piano lesson to Arizona, I spotted a tree removal squad slashing a young Oak to smithereens just a few yards from the piano room. The tree, about 10 feet tall, not having yet attained maturity to produce full bloom shade, or to reach NON-existent PG and E electrical cables, had complemented our walkway, lined with resplendent plants and flowers of many varieties–Roses, Camellias, lemon and orange trees galore. An off-the-street, secluded nature sanctuary framed by towering Eucalyptus and Weeping Willows, contained a tantalizing one-level rental complex (4 adjacent apartments) surrounded by nests of chirping birds and blooming buds.

With gleeful children in high-pitched voices, busy at play in a bordering pre-school that shared a common row of plants and trees, I’d felt happily nestled in tranquillity….until the drilling drone of aggressive tree-cutters disturbed a natural equilibrium, invading a piano lesson in progress with ear-piercing electrical jolts. It wasn’t just a merciless death of a tree that left a glaring opening in a choir of willowing branches, swaying leaves, and soulful songbirds, but Chopin’s Waltz in C-sharp minor was repeatedly scorched by asymmetrical bursts of electrical power as my patience frayed with each execution-charged noise burst. Surely these were transmitted at high intensity to Flagstaff over Ethernet cable, destroying any semblance of meaningful piano instruction.

A visitor to our apartment complex, who happened to be roller-blading down the walkway in the aftermath of the deluge (which she completely missed), inquired why I was staring intently at a pile of wood chips. After my debriefing, bundled in nightmarish effusions tied to environmental insult, I asked her what I could do to stop what was endemic to our neighborhood and well beyond. Without hesitation, she replied, “Become a tree hugger!” The idea was in harmony with Animal Rights champions who’d recently held a rally in Downtown Berkeley, and it resonated with Jane Goodall’s tome, Seeds of Hope, that’s deeply ingrained with plant worship. The Goddess of environmental preservation sang praises to the deities of nature during her King Middle School presentation in Berkeley–Pure music to my ears!

As a kindred spirit, I Googled Tree Huggers International, and revisited a piano lesson that had hit rock bottom.

A You Tube tutorial sprouted, nourished by a layered learning approach to Chopin’s Waltz in C-sharp minor. (from the ground up) It was a personal and musical redemption with global overtones.

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