And if that sentence makes me sound like the rest of the time that I think I do know everything I could possibly know about this great medium, then you’re sorrily mistaken. The rest of the time I’m thinking nothing, because I’m one of those people who is perfectly capable of complete and total mental vacancy. A man, basically.
The fact is, I operate by what I know, and I make it my mission to know anything else that I feel would be useful. Every waking moment I spend with an inkling of a thought, however meagre or subconscious, that I must obtain knowledge. Because god knows there’s a lot I don’t know. He knows very well what I don’t know, but unfortunately I don’t know half what I don’t know, and half of what I know I don’t know where I know from, which I guess is okay because if I knew where I knew half of what I know from, I’d only be able to know half as much.
Sorry, went off on one there.
The problem I have is that I’d like to know how to, for example: sing well, properly play the piano/keyboard, write instant hits. The thing in common with each of those is that I’ve taught myself everything I currently know about them. I’ve had no formal tuition, or learned from books, or flung money at intensive courses to try and hone my skills quicker. I’ve essentially home-schooled myself in each of these regards – a process that, while it has certainly reaped its benefits, also has its limitations. I can think of three right off the bat: (1) it invariably takes longer, (2) it devours a lot more of my energy and focus, and (3) I only acquire the knowledge through one viewpoint – my own. That last point probably plays a vital part in why my brother yells at me for being a lousy teacher.
Certainly I’d like to take up piano lessons at some point, even if it’s starting from the basics again. I’d like to see how well my current knowledge in playing the piano, and the ways I’ve learnt it, tie in (or indeed conflict) with the ways I’ll get taught it. I’ll be able to see the piano, and maybe even the music, through the eyes of someone who is more adept at the subject than I.
It often pains me to realize how much I don’t know. Not being able to sing or play the piano to a satisfying degree are what get to me the most. I’ve been learning these things myself for a number of years now, and with both, I’ve hit stumbling blocks. Singing requires a degree of bodily discipline like throat exercise and a reasonable diet, which I’ve foolishly not been undertaking through my self-styled teachings of singing. Piano-playing requires a considerable amount of dexterity and self-control, and my current methods do seem to be inadequate when it comes to playing certain things. As in, I can’t play some of my own stuff.
As a perfectionist, it seems to me that if I’m going to be good at something, I need to be really good – enough for it to be officially recognised. And I really hope that, in the same way that I learned English Language/Literature, Music Technology, and Drama and Theatre Studies through an actual academic system and received decent passing grades and certificates for completing them, soon I will receive official confirmation that I am at least competent in piano-playing.