Dear Mrs. Johnson,
I am sorry I wasted your time in a colossal way. But I know how much you needed that five bucks from my mom each week, so let’s just agree that I am a generous soul - it is better to give than to receive and all that, see? And really, if I had been more musically inclined, there might have been fewer tears - on your part. We just didn’t have the biology or something.
I honestly didn’t mean to yawn in your face during the many dynamic twists and turns of totally fascinating music theory. I might have quite enjoyed the drills on the treble clef, insanely meaningless major vs minor chord progression and pop quiz tantrums about interpreting key signatures that look just like Egyptian hieroglyphics if I hadn’t been so busy poking my eyes out. And for sure, I know you thought it would be a little healthy competition and super motivating to teach me at the same time as another student for a while. Well, for your information, it wasn’t. He was a BOY. Duh! And he played better than I did. And he smelled.
Did it ever occur to you to offer a little break in the routine once in a while? Like a snappy foot race in front of your house, maybe? I coulda smeared that smelly kid. Besides, a little physical activity always sends additional resources to the brain. Mr. Lavin in 4th grade told us that. I was a really fast runner. Did you know I was the second fastest girl in the 6th grade? Robin Barnes was the only one faster. She was a six foot tall gazelle (that’s a antelope thing in Africa). I could have pulled her pony-tail or something if I wanted to, but I didn’t.
Oh yeah, and I am really sorry I totally froze at the keyboard during that big, fancy recital. You may recall that I launched into the first few measures no sweat. Piece of cake! And then, I dunno. Zip. I’ll bet that was pretty darn uncomfortable for ya, huh. Funny how time kinda stops when there’s an awkward silence during a spectacularly inappropriate time. But to be fair, I did warn you. Remember? But no, you wouldn’t have any of it! “All of my students will shine, dear,” you said. So I was a realist; sue me! I knew I didn’t have a chance of doing the whole piece without flaking out in a truly delicious fashion at the stupid key change bridge. Man, if that wasn’t a Barry Manilow moment at least ten years before anyone ever heard of his boring 70s stuff. C’mon!
I guess I am kinda sorry to disappoint you during “The Spinning Song”. That’s a true classic. I really liked that one. In fact, I think I could have done a lot better if you would have just for once kept your mouth shut and not counted out-loud. Man, that was annoying! Couldn’t you tell it didn’t help at all? “One and two and three and . . .” Sheesh, I was playing by ear anyway, y’know? So it really didn’t make the impression you assumed it did - quarter-note this, half-note that - whatever. All that counting in my ear just sounded like arithmetic. Psycho arithmetic.
And please - don’t get me started on that ridiculous metronome ticking away! I hated that thing. Who thought that was a good idea? Seriously. That was Chinese water torture except with sound.
If James Bond had a Russian spy all tied-up, and he was shining a bright light right in his face, and he’s like, “You will tell me where the plans are, naturally,” y’know, all smooth and suave like he does - and there’s only a few minutes remaining to get the secret information before the bomb blasts off somewhere near the Presidential motorcade and the Russian is like, “You miserable wretch, Bond! I vil not be tellink you nothink!” And then Bond drawls, “Ahhh, comrade, it is most unfortunate that you leave me no other choice.”
And it really should be the enormous goon with the silver teeth who’s gone, gone rogue, y’know what I mean? And he’s like on OUR side now, O.K.? Right! And then the big guy comes into the room and what does he do? Right! He whips out the metronome! Ha ha, that’s when the lame Russian spews everything like a total baby - I mean everything. “No, no! Anythink but da metronome!” - Cool.
Anyways, nice try. Better luck next time.
p.s. I am including a couple of swell piano jokes I thought you might like. No hard feelings.
Q: What's the difference between a piano and an onion?
A: No one cries when you chop up a piano.
Q: How do you get two piano players to play in perfect unison?
A: Shoot one.