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A basic C major chord followed by an equally basic G major chord, arpeggiated: use your left hand to hit C-E-G… that sounds accurate. Now, slide your hand down a bit further and hit G-B-D. Good. Hit the first chord three times, do the same for the second, one-two-three one-two-three one-two-three; build up a rhythm and once you’re steady, divert your attention to your right hand to play the melody! Lean back and channel the spirit of Mozart for approximately thirty seconds before – your hands are out of sync (again).

My mother loves music. I love hearing her sing, which she does all the time: in the shower, while getting dressed, while doing the dishes, little snippets of her new favorite song are always floating around the house. She’s happy to oblige whenever I join in, but what she really wants is an accompaniment: several of her siblings know instruments and it was to her great disappointment that she never had the opportunity. As such, I wasn’t surprised when out of the blue, I was gifted a keyboard. The surprise was how bad I was at it.

One-handed songs were easy, but I couldn’t handle a second. No assured practice-makes-perfect could convince me that my hands would ever cooperate, and after a year of on-and-off...

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