This morning we did school despite a complete lack of interest on Jasper’s part. At least he’s willing to do it even when he’s not in the mood.
I had an early lunch before taking off in the heat for my autoharp lesson. It was really hot and I was more or less soaked by the time I reached my teacher’s house.
This time we could get right into actual playing, since my instrument is now all nicely set up. I played her my arrangement of “The Love of God,” and she played it with me. Afterwards, she said, “You are not a beginner. Not when it comes to ear training. I am very impressed that you figured out all the melody chords as well as the accompaniment. You have a great ear.” Whew! Having a good ear is pretty important if your instrument of choice is one that is mostly played by ear. (Although the mental image makes me giggle every time I think about it.)
She also gave me a list of etiquette rules for jams. I am far, far from being ready to join a jam. However, getting the list made me happy because I believe that means she believes the day will come when I’ll be good enough to jam with other musicians.
Knowing that I am focusing on hymns right now because of playing in church, Ann (my teacher) had prepared several hymns for me work on. They all seem to be pretty challenging, but I enjoy a challenge! We played through them one by one and I struggled mightily to keep up (and mostly failed). After the first couple of hymns, Ann’s husband quietly walked up with a huge upright bass. “Are you joining us?” she asked. “Well, you can’t expect me to hear that good music and not join in,” he said.
So he started playing his bass along with us and I cannot tell you how thrilled I was. It was a big, big deal to me. There was so much joy coursing through my veins that my fingers hardly knew what to do with themselves! Since it was my first play-through, I just kind of stumbled along and strummed a chord here and there as I was able. One of my other lifelong dreams has been to play an instrument as part of a group of people playing other instruments. The tiny taste I had today convinced me that this is a good dream! I’m still savoring those glorious moments.
Today’s lesson only lasted an hour and forty-five minutes, after which it was time to get back into my rolling oven and drive back down to my critique group. I stopped for a quick supper on the way and still made it in time. It was good to get inside the cool library. I took my autoharp in too because I didn’t like the idea of leaving it in the hot car!
Our writers’ meeting (following critique group) consisted of only seven people, including the speaker, but it was still enjoyable and informative. By the time it was over I was ready to head for home, though. Being out in the heat is very tiring for me.
Tomorrow I’m leaving. So much to do! So little time!