A HemidemisemiQuaker

Years ago I used to have piano lessons: they were taken by one K. Stuart Hart, a well-known and respected figure in that part of West London.  He was a mixture of parts; a gentle teacher (‘the Amos of another age’ as one student put it) but also both staggeringly egotistical and genuinely humble.  He never told me off when I didn’t practise but just sighed in a distracted way while chain-smoking B&H as I fumbled through my latest Mozart.  I took lessons from the age of 11 (when we were given a piano) until my late teens and once showed him the sheet music for ‘Tubular Bells’ which completely baffled him.

As a teenager I used to go up to the Royal College of Music for my exams; an ornate and deeply intimidating building in central London.  The experience was made much worse by precocious three-and four-year-olds running through Bach’s Toccata and Fugue on the practise pianos, so that I never managed to practise before my exam unless the room was quite empty.  The exam itself consisted, as I recall, of three prepared pieces, some aural tests (I was very good at these) and a sight-reading test which I always failed abysmally (to this day I cannot sight-read).  There were theory tests as well which were far less scary as they were written: I quite enjoyed learning music theory and I can still remember that a quaver is half a crotchet, a semiquaver half a quaver and a demi-semi-quaver half of that; after which it goes quite silly and becomes a hemi-demi-semiquaver.

So OH and I were joking that, since he comes to Quaker meeting about half the time, that makes him a semiQuaker.  If he came once a month he’d be a demi-semiQuaker and to be a hemi-demi-semiQuaker I guess he’d have to come once every two months.

Is that right?

Have a good week,

Kirk out

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5 Comments

Filed under friends and family, God-bothering, The madness of Mark

5 responses to “A HemidemisemiQuaker

  1. dont fall into OH trap . Funnily, my guitar teacher chain smoked all through my lessons too, in a quite dark room, that stank of baccy and made me feel queasy and tense. I stopped taking lesson fairly quickly and spent the money on records instead……..until my aunt found out and threatened to tell my mum. I had to “officially” end the lessons then. I wanted drums!!!!

  2. Sarada Gray

    What is OH trap? I’m sure lots of us have lung problems due to chain-smoking teachers

  3. “hemi-demi-semiQuaker” so funny! I had some piano lessons too, but more with the trumpet while I was at school, making it to grade 3, and always felt I was good at the singing parts… but detested the theory stuff.

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