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Debbie Ridpath Ohi reads, writes and illustrates for young people. Every few weeks, she shares new art, writing and resources; subscribe below. Browse the archives here.

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rich and alisa

Wow, am I ever sore today, from biking and tennis on the weekend.
Still, I went biking with David this morning. I complained the whole
way about being sore, of course; he was VERY patient with me. :-) We didn't
bike as far as we normally did, and he gave me part of his Multi Berry
Nutrigrain bar (probably so I would quit talking so much!).

Last night, went to Two Pianos, Four Hands at the Royal Alex with my
friend Cathy. Enjoyed it much more than I expected! It was part of our
theatre subscription package, and I had always viewed it as one of those
shows that are tacked on just as filler. But it was great! The set
consisted entirely of two guys on two grand pianos, and the semi-autobiographical
story followed their musical careers from childhood to adult. There were
a lot of insider jokes that could only be truly appreciated by piano teachers
(I taught piano for about 15 years) and anyone who has taken piano lessons,
though Cathy said she enjoyed the production as well even tho she hasn't done

One of the parts I loved was a series of scenes in which the boys were
giving the usual excuses for not practising...WOW, was that accurate. I
remember getting excuses from "It sounded better at home!" to "My little
sister ate my homework page" to "I hurt my finger earlier this week, but
it got better just before my lesson." I remember using some of these
excuses when I was a student, too. :-)

I also remember the hours of practising (I was up to four hours a day
when I worked on my ARCT (teacher's degree)), the endless scales and
arpeggios and formula patterns, the nervewracking experience of the
Kiwanis Festival (I remember coming home and crying after my first
experience at the Festival...I had very bad stage fright), Conservatory
exams, getting so involved in your music that you forget about
everything else. I've always found piano very good for that...when I
am angry or upset about something, I find it immensely satisfying to
pound through a good, violent Rachmaninoff or an intensely complicated
Bach fugue.

Seeing the show last night made me want to get back to playing piano
again, of course. I just wish there was more time in the day!
(or stop sleeping)

Congratulations to Alisa and Rich, who got engaged yesterday!!!

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