Thinking often these days and realizing that much of what we were taught as children really hasn’t served us well. I learned from my elders at home at school and at church (who now I know, really didn’t know better themselves).
We were trained to adopt certain beliefs and behaviors desires and emotional reactions. Unconsciously, for the most part, they taught me to be ashamed - of body, of thinking differently, of expressing myself freely and in the manner that would bring out my true self, my best self.
Social conditioning is how it’s defined. By whatever word you choose to call it, what I know for sure now, is that it has crippled me. This conditioning starts from our very early years. I recall being sent to piano lessons. My teacher was Mrs. Barracks, a retiree that lived some distance up on the same street as me .Her scowls and loud voice and her 12 inch ruler have left an indelible mark on me. At the time, my favourite thing about playing the piano was to try to find the notes of popular songs on the keyboard and “play them by ear” I believe it’s called.
During my practice sessions at her music studio, I would stop from working on the stanzas in my Royal School of Music Examination Book to pick out the notes for songs like “you are my sunshine, my only sunshine” or one of the songs from my Cinderella LP that went: “moonlight shining in the night, how I have my hope in you” and from nowhere you’d just feel that 12” ruler come down hard on your knuckles and that deep almost manly voice shout “didn’t you hear me say, no playing by ear?”
I’ve always felt a strong connection with music and that will never change, but my interest in playing the piano was sorely affected by this woman. I stopped playing sometime in high school and the urge to start playing again has never been strong enough to move me to act.