Today's guest post comes from my Welsh friend Derek Ayre, hypnotherapist, musician, and writer extraordinaire. Visit his music site here. (My spell checker goes nuts over his British spelling, but I like it so I've left it in.)
Writing About Music
by Derek Ayre
Music is one of the great loves of my life and I have been playing pianos and digital keyboards since the age of about 5. But love piano playing as I may, I had this feeling that it was going to be one of the most difficult subjects to write about. This is probably because throughout my life, whenever anybody has asked me what my piano playing was like, I could simply sit down at the piano and literally show and not tell by playing the music. If a picture paints a thousand words, then so does a piano – when it is being played of course!
And so it came about that one day, I was looking for a suitable subject to blog about and I was considering a piece of advice I had so often heard in my writing classes. “Write what you know”, and I had this idea about writing all about music and piano keyboards, so I opened a new blog called The Clavinova Piano and Keyboard Blog.
Writing my first entry was easier said than done and the first thing I did was to look back through all my old music books I had used when I was a kid for some inspiration. It took quite a lot of brainstorming to come up with a post that was going to be interesting to non-musicians and those who were merely toying with the idea, about learning to play. Even my music teacher had a prop in the form of a Steinway grand piano! And after she had taught me how to name notes and recognise their value and pitch she merely said, “OK, now you play it”. And then when I made a mistake, she would either take my finger and place it on the correct note, or say no more than “start from the top again”. Words were rarely uttered during a music lesson and the written word came in the form of red writing on my music copies with terse statements such as, “watch your timing!” or “take care” and then there were crude sketches of a pair of eyes, to save her having to write “watch your timing” or “take care”. A person of few words, written or spoken, but words or no words, she was a good teacher, I must admit. But I digress…
After scratching my head for a day or two and searching around the Internet for inspiration, I came up with the idea of creating for my first blog post and titled it, Clavinova Piano, explaining what a clavinova piano was and what it would do. I suppose I was fortunate having one of these instruments, because had they not been invented, it would have been a pretty lame post that would be entitled, What is a Piano? Everybody knows what a piano is. And my idea was to introduce to my readers what could be done with a digital piano and why it was worth purchasing one and learning to play it. I could then see what interest the blog generated and decide whether or not to continue with the subject.
Once the blog went live, and I had got it recognised by Google as actually existent, I was surprised at the interest it generated and I even had some comments left in the first few days. Not bad, I thought, for a brand new blog that I never thought I would ever find anything to write about. However, I made a dreadful mistake on the control panel of the blog and deleted the post! All the comments went with it, and I hadn’t even responded to them or taken note of who they were from. But it wasn’t quite back to square one, I had saved my work in my word processor, so it was just a matter of cutting and pasting it back into the blog. Now, less than a month later, I am becoming more and more aware and inspired about things to write about in the world of music playing and will never again pay heed to my sceptical mind saying, “I don’t know what to write about!”