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,