The Unmusical One

Strike a Chord

Do you play an instrument? Is there a musical instrument whose sound you find particularly pleasing? Tell us a story about your experience or relationship with an instrument of your choice.

I learnt flute when I was a child.  I wanted to be in the school orchestra and just sucked at all the other instruments.  It was an agonising few weeks for my family who had no idea how truly bad I was at playing it, when they bought me a flute. Oddly, my flute kept disappearing or when I said I was going to practice, my parents went out or suggested an outing.   I did lose interest in a few weeks, I think I fell in love with hockey about then, and I think, when I stopped that even the floorboards sighed with relief.

I have always been in love with the sounds of the piano.  I find it to be like sign language, communication through my  fingers and hands.  A magic world, that doesn’t require my off tune singing to enter.  I have never had the guts to seek out a teacher and now with arthritis wreaking havoc in my hands, probably never will.  But I have a gift.  The neighbour below us plays the piano beautifully.  I can lie in my bed and listen to the amazing music he creates.  I hope he never moves, those moments are precious to me.

I do feel that writing can be like a musical instrument.  I compose the lyrics in a poem or a short story.  I seek coherence, like a beat that follows through the composition.  Rhyming in poetry can be lyrical in its own way. When speaking my poetry, I can hear the rhythm playing in my mind or see the rhymes dancing over the words.  Not a traditional instrument but words can be like the notes in music.  Well they are for me.

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