Playing with Spadge

Playing with Spadge

A 2017 challenge, brought to me by Santa Claus in 2016.

As you might know, I’m big on setting myself a yearly challenge every New Year’s Eve. I try to choose something that:

  1. Gets me away from the long hours staring at my computer screen
  2. Has a steady learning curve
  3. Keeps me creative
  4. Is just the right amount of time consuming
  5. Makes people wanna touch me

These expectations are rarely accurate. In fact, quite hilarious in retrospect.

I’m very grateful that my 2017 challenge was pretty much decided for me. In the Christmas of 2016 I was very generously bought an electric piano. Despite not playing for almost a decade, I decided to learn at least one new song a month and upload a video of my progress.

These videos can be found on my Instagram, with the hashtag #playingwithspadge (click that hashtag!).

Did I meet those goals above?

  1. Nope. I used YouTube tutorials to watch how each song was played – lots of time looking at a screen
  2. Hmm. The steepness of the learning curve differed greatly depending on the song choice
  3. Ish. It probably was creative in a sense that I invented a heck of a lot of new swear words, I managed zero compositions of my own
  4. No way. I always underestimate this. I only ever gave myself a single day to learn, practice and record each song
  5. Yep. Nailed this one

The best bits:

It was really fun to get other people involved in this. I often asked people to recommend songs, or if they had favourite songs I could learn. I also asked my sister to help duet some melodies and her singing voice is incredible.

The best months were months where I managed to try out a few songs and then pick my favourite to upload. This means there are many videos in my phone’s library that didn’t make it to Instagram, including some terrible ones of me singing along.

More #playingwithspadge in the future?

I hope to keep playing this year, even if not as often. I took a month break from Instagram around October time and my piano playing took a big hit because of not having a place to share the videos. I felt a little embarrassed after seeing the professional skill of others, too.

Despite this, I’m hoping to play in front of a very small audience at the end of February, which would be a massive step for me. So look out for that one!

Finally, a huge thanks to the people who had been supportive about this cheeky hashtag throughout the year. I know I’m far from a natural and there’s a lot of clumsy hands, off-beat rhythms and awkward faces to those who look for them, but I really do appreciate all generous words.

Here’s hoping 2018 is just as fun, stressful, hilarious and sweary.

Big love.