The importance of how learning is an ongoing process, the need for a hobby to be established after retirement age, translated…
As children grow up, my mother in her sixties decided to pick up on her dreams when she was younger: taking up the music lessons. She’d not just signed up for the electric piano classes at the community center, she’d, disregarded my father’s objections, signed HIM up for the sax lessons. Seeing how the two bought their instruments, and as time for the classes came, they’d, rushed out, packed the big and small packs to take along, and naturally, as children, we are, most, supportive of them.
Then ever since as I’d come back home on the weekends or holidays, I’d, heard music, “floating in the air”—for the players of recorder in the music classes, I’m sure, that we can all agree, that the sound that came out as beginners played, isn’t musical. As the cat heard the music started, sounding off, it’d, scattered away, quick, with that look of, “What did I do to deserve this” on its face. But, my father has a serious nature, and on occasions, he’d complained about how my mother “made” him go to class, but he’d still, picked up the sax every day and, started from the basics of blowing air between the reeds, making the sounds, and, playing the simple notes, and each practice session runs for over two hours at a time. To not bug the neighbors, my father would hide inside the bathrooms, shut the doors and the windows as he’d practiced inside the loo.
And my mother, who’d, started all of this, wouldn’t be beaten by my father, she’d taken the piano for several months, and, at her instructors recommendations, she’d started playing the flute. The sax and the flutes are both woodwind instruments, but, the sax sounded fuller, while the flute sounded, like floating in the air, the two instruments go on and off inside the house, and it’d, made the listeners, uneasy, but the cat didn’t mind, as my mother sat herself down to play, it’d hopped onto my mother’s knees, and, lay down, sometimes, the cat would, stare, deep into my mother’s eyes, like he was enjoying this sound that’s, at the same frequency of his, meowing.
illustration from UDN.com
As my mother got into playing, she’d, poured her heart and soul into it, and she’d, complained to us on how she’d, hit a fork in her practice sessions. Until one day, she’d shared with me excitedly, that her high school instructor started playing the flute when she was seventy, and, she’d continued playing, and she’s having a decade recital soon, that she will, follow her teacher’s, lead too, she’d found herself a private lesson instructor, from the pop music, she’d, advanced to the classical. The teacher was demanding of the aperture, and I’d seen my mother focusing on sticking her tongue out, with her mouth open.
And, after awhile, the cacophony became, less and less, I can already, sit quite, settled in, in the living room, as my mother played the flute, sometimes, I’d, closed my eyes, and imagined the poetic verses as I listened to her play. While my father favorite tune, “Amazing Grace” started with amazing, and now, there’s, the grace “factor” that’s, included in too. Being an avid learner, he’d not only satisfied in reading the simplified sheet music, he’d even started, picking up my old sheet music, and learned to read the notes off the staff.
As our family gathered for the New Year’s this year the two of them put on a show, and, gotten a full applause from all around the room. I can’t help but feel in awe, no matter how old you are when you started pursuing your dreams, it’s never too late. Your lives are, fulfilled, you can find friends who shared the same interests, and it helps activate your mind, to slow down the process of aging, and it gives you that sense of achievement too. My mother also testified, that picking up the piano was a breakthrough for her, that was the very first time she’d ever, chosen to take the lessons seriously, and knew, that she could, do it! As we were growing up, being forced to sit at the piano to play was torture for us, but, as my parents got older, started picking up on the instruments, they’d not only, entertained themselves, but us too!
And so, this, is the right attitude that we should all carry, when we pick up on something, like these two older adults, and, maybe it’s because of their mindsets being, more matured, nobody’s pushing them to learn the musical instruments, they’d picked it up on their own, that was why they’re, able to, play it with so much joy.