Thirsty for Knowledge? Try Sipping

Sipping Kofola by Soma Adhicary

Yesterday at church, I read and understood the musical notation of the hymns we sang for the first time. At least at a basic level. I noticed how the organist used the sustain pedal on the slurs (the curved line connecting two notes) and transitioned up an octave for the last verse.

I felt gratified and a bit exhilarated by this new awareness after the first hymn.

During the intermediate hymn I was so caught-up in reading the notation I forgot what verse I was singing! I need more practice before I can do both at the same time.

How did I develop this new skill? It wasn't due to long hours of study. I don't have that kind of free time. It was accomplished by taking small, frequent sips.

For example, last week I carried the Essential Dictionary of Musical Notation in my back pocket with a page from an old hymn book for the bookmark. During a free moment I would try to “sight-read” the hymn on the page. When I got stuck, and that happened often, I referred to the dictionary for clarification. A sip of musical notation here, a sip of knowledge there. A sip to test my recall. After awhile it adds up.

Like Dominie the piano teacher said, “let me have my minutes”.

I will put them to good use.


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