Stopping by again to say hi and bye

Posted by: John Citron

Stopping by again to say hi and bye - 11/13/12 02:37 PM

Hi folks,

Well it's been awhile since I've been here. I wish I could stay, but that's no longer in the cards for me. Sadly, my piano and music is longer part of my life. If anyone wants a nice Vogel 177T in excellent condition, they're welcome to it. I haven't thought about a price yet, or anything on that end in detail.

The reason for this is my neurological problems have progressed very badly and I've lost the coordination in my hands. I did quite well for nearly 7 years, even went back to school for music and piano. That was the best time of my life and surely wish I could go back. I thought it was bad then, try this now!

In February 2012 I managed to have a small stroke that affected my left hand. This was due to a medication side-effect. I have no complaints about my doctor. I happen to be one of those people that finds side-effects with every medication I take. This incident left my hand cold and slow. Today things are a bit better, but the spasm and cramps are horrible. This incident has added insult to injury on everything else that was going on at the same time.

At this point I can't seem to coordinate the hands to play consistently every day. I'm lucky to get in 15 minutes on most days. An hour or two is a bonus, but those days now are far and few between. In the past 6-8 hours was the norm with 1-2 hours being normal when working full time. People tell me that I should "just enjoy the piano", well that's hard to do when I play like a rank beginner. Heck I can't even play hands together most of the time. The left hand stops completely now while my right hand treks along like it should.

So anyway, this is a goodbye message. If anyone is interested in a used 5'10" Vogel grand in excellent, please contact me.

John
Posted by: sophial

Re: Stopping by again to say hi and bye - 11/13/12 03:15 PM

John,
I'm so sorry to hear of your difficulties and hope that things improve. Maybe one should never say "never" ? even a short time of playing might bring you some enjoyment... But of course you need to do what feels right for you. I hope you'll say hello again from time to time as and maybe even have some better news... take care.

Sophia
Posted by: JoelW

Re: Stopping by again to say hi and bye - 11/13/12 03:37 PM

Man, this is just too sad. frown

So sorry about your situation. Wish you well.
Posted by: jotur

Re: Stopping by again to say hi and bye - 11/13/12 04:10 PM

John, I'm so sorry. I really enjoyed your harpsichord recordings awhile back. So you've already put a lot in to other people's lives. Thank you for that.

Hope you have lots of support on your journey. You can always post again here at PW to get a little upper when you need it.

Take care,

Cathy
Posted by: ChopinAddict

Re: Stopping by again to say hi and bye - 11/13/12 04:39 PM

I am very sorry to hear that. frown I wouldn't sell the piano yet though. And even 10 minutes now and then might make you happy. Good luck with your recovery!
Posted by: tomasino

Re: Stopping by again to say hi and bye - 11/13/12 04:39 PM

Hi John,

I understand some of your pain. I'm a "has been" singer, a "used-to-be pretty good" singer, and I'm still a "wannabe singer" more than anything else in the world--but it's gone. Oh, I can still warble a bit, and be impressive for about five minutes or so. And then the vibrato gets out of control, and like you with your left hand, I'm quickly reminded--it's gone.

Over the years, I realized that once I had bonded to singing in my teens, I couldn't do without music in my life. I had to find another way. Luckily, I had enough piano background to build upon it in later life, and so I became a fairly decent pianist who used to be a pretty good singer. The keyboard nearly filled the void, although I'd still rather be a singer. And so I'm at peace with that, and so I understand--it's impossible to "just enjoy the piano," as your well-meaning friends suggest.

I don't have the answer for you, and don't know what might replace the keyboard for you. But maybe you should hold off on selling your piano for awhile, and maybe hold off on saying good-bye to Piano World too. Give it some time. If you're like me, music is surging through your veins, and it won't let go of you, even if you let go of it. You'll find a way to stay involved, I'm sure.

Very best wishes
Tomasino
Posted by: BruceD

Re: Stopping by again to say hi and bye - 11/13/12 04:44 PM

John :

I do remember a time when you were an active and eager participant in the Pianist Corner, before your physical problems really began to impede the enjoyment you gleaned from your music. Even later, I admired your stoicism and your efforts to overcome your difficulties or to adapt to them.

I am greatly saddened to read that it has come to this. I am quite sure that we can appreciate what a blow this must be, although we can't fully know all that you must be going through and how it must hurt, physically, emotionally and artistically.

I wish you well.

Regards,
Posted by: currawong

Re: Stopping by again to say hi and bye - 11/13/12 05:17 PM

John, I always read your posts and appreciated your contribution here and am very sad to hear about the turn things have taken for you. I've sometimes thought about what I would do if I could no longer play, and I believe and hope I could still find joy in music without playing, so I do hope you can too, and that music can still be a part of your life. If you feel you can, I hope you'll return from time to time.
My very best wishes.
Posted by: RealPlayer

Re: Stopping by again to say hi and bye - 11/13/12 05:22 PM

So sorry for your circumstance, John. That's very sad. We'll miss you; don't forget about us completely.
Posted by: gooddog

Re: Stopping by again to say hi and bye - 11/13/12 05:32 PM

Oh, John. I am so sorry to hear this. Please stop in now and then and let us know how you are doing.
Posted by: Piano*Dad

Re: Stopping by again to say hi and bye - 11/13/12 05:54 PM

John,

I fully understand your reluctance to see your abilities deteriorate. I hope you find your piano an excellent new home. But consider this: we can still benefit from your insights into piano playing and music in general, and you can still benefit from the discussion and camaraderie of fellow music lovers here. Hang around.
Posted by: wr

Re: Stopping by again to say hi and bye - 11/13/12 06:57 PM

John, I am so sorry to hear about this turn your health has taken. If you should feel the inclination at any time, do come back and let us know how you are doing, although I can understand that you might not want to.
Posted by: Dave Horne

Re: Stopping by again to say hi and bye - 11/13/12 07:59 PM

John, I don't think we communicated with each other but I wish you all the very best.
Posted by: yhc

Re: Stopping by again to say hi and bye - 11/13/12 08:28 PM

Very Sorry to hear about this. Wish you all the best of luck and don't lose your music.
Posted by: argerichfan

Re: Stopping by again to say hi and bye - 11/13/12 09:10 PM

I echo the sentiments of the folks above. I loved reading your posts, and I will miss you. All my best...
Posted by: P I A N O piano

Re: Stopping by again to say hi and bye - 11/13/12 09:53 PM

I am wishing you the best in your situation- so sad to hear of this news. I immediately recognized your name, remembered many of your posts, too. Sending thoughts of strength and please keep music in your heart...
Posted by: Derulux

Re: Stopping by again to say hi and bye - 11/14/12 12:48 AM

John, I sent you a PM. If it truly is goodbye (for now), then take care my friend. You will be missed. Please at least read my message before you take your leave. I, for one, would hate to see you go, but I understand well the frustration of not being able to sit in front of the keys in the way you want (if for completely different reasons), and the added frustration of discussing the very thing you love and can't have with everyone here in the forums. It was the reason I took a few years off myself.

No matter what your eventual decision, I wish you the best. smile
Posted by: Ted

Re: Stopping by again to say hi and bye - 11/14/12 04:31 PM

I am saddened by this news. You were a highly knowledgeable member here and you always commented constructively and insightfully. To have to stop playing the piano would be an immeasurable grief but you can still listen, and with all the wonderful electronic gear and software around, perhaps you could embrace arrangement and composition. Maybe that wouldn't suit you, and suggestions are easily made outside the situation, but to give up the whole of music seems too terrible to contemplate.
Posted by: BethH

Re: Stopping by again to say hi and bye - 11/14/12 09:45 PM

I am very sorry. At times I remind myself, as I am getting older, that I need to savor the time I have for piano. There are no guarantees for anyone what tomorrow, next week, or next year will bring into our lives.

Leon Fleischer came out with an autobiography a year or 2 ago. Nine Lives?? I can't remember the title. I imagine you already know, that he was extremely good and lost the use of his right hand for playing in his 30's. He definitely had some ups and downs in his life but went on to do many different things musically.

Maybe you wrote some right-handed music?

My husband, a good amateur musician, has had physical issues as well. He is losing his eyesight (macular degeneration), has pretty bad tinnitus, and has significant whole body numbness. He really can't play an instrument at a level that he would like to, either. In addition, his fingers just don't seem to work very well in his right hand anymore. So, it has been tough for him as well.

Thank you for letting us know.
Posted by: signa

Re: Stopping by again to say hi and bye - 11/14/12 10:27 PM

it's just too sad to hear this, John. had always enjoyed reading your posts, but not this.

i haven't played piano for a while due to job changes, but you made me miss playing it now...

anyway, hope you get well and hang in there!
Posted by: Monica K.

Re: Stopping by again to say hi and bye - 11/14/12 10:40 PM

John, I am so sorry to hear of your latest health problems. It just sucks all the way around. I know there are people who can say that it is all part of a plan and that people can gain so much through facing adversity blah blah blah, but I don't buy it. Sometimes life is JUST FRICKIN UNFAIR and AWFUL THINGS HAPPEN TO GOOD PEOPLE FOR NO REASON. mad And I think this is one of those reasons.

I can understand your desire to leave piano at this point. Use the time to develop a passion and hobby that your mind can utilize even if your body betrays you. I will miss your posts but am happy to have benefited from your insight as much as I did.

Take care.
Posted by: btb

Re: Stopping by again to say hi and bye - 11/15/12 02:37 AM

Hi John,

Always good to hear from you ... but one of the things you taught us was always to look forward as we can do nothing with what has past.

Don’t sell your Vogel ... that like dropping anchor in the dead zone.

Your hearing, I’m sure is as acute as ever ... surely a recording of Ashkenazy playing a Chopin Nocturne still stirs the blood ... all is not lost.

Hang in there ... we need you.

Kindest regards, btb
Posted by: Temperament

Re: Stopping by again to say hi and bye - 11/15/12 08:08 AM

Hi John, while sad enough, but don't think You have something special!

We all will cease playing our pianos from a given time. You perhaps - and very probably myself as the next one for some similar health problems - some earlier as the others.

It was no different for the great giants (I mean Beethoven & Co.) - they had to take on the biggest losses among all of us.

You are not alone, we all are not alone! Stay with music... Attila
Posted by: davefrank

Re: Stopping by again to say hi and bye - 11/15/12 02:34 PM

Condolences for your huge loss(
Oscar Peterson lost his left hand abilities after a stroke and played/performed with his RH only for years..Jimmy Amadie, another fine jazz pianist, could only play for 5 min/day due to horrible tendonitis, and recorded a solo CD over the period of a couple of years..

food for thought perhaps..

Dave Frank
Posted by: Chopinlover49

Re: Stopping by again to say hi and bye - 11/15/12 04:54 PM

Very sorry to hear of your situation. Keep up your spirits--you never know. I hope things get better. Our prayers are with you.
Posted by: BB Player

Re: Stopping by again to say hi and bye - 11/15/12 05:09 PM

John,

Although I realize it probably wasn't your intent, I found a lot to inspire me in your parting words. On those days when I am looking on practice as a chore I'll stop and appreciate it for what it is: a gift.

All the best to you and I'll join others in hoping that you resurface here from time to time. Your absence will be felt by all.
Posted by: currawong

Re: Stopping by again to say hi and bye - 11/15/12 05:16 PM

Originally Posted By: BB Player
Although I realize it probably wasn't your intent, I found a lot to inspire me in your parting words. On those days when I am looking on practice as a chore I'll stop and appreciate it for what it is: a gift.
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Posted by: ChopinAddict

Re: Stopping by again to say hi and bye - 11/15/12 05:35 PM

Maybe this will encourage you not to give up or sell your piano:



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Posted by: Piano Again

Re: Stopping by again to say hi and bye - 11/15/12 05:53 PM

Originally Posted By: currawong
Originally Posted By: BB Player
Although I realize it probably wasn't your intent, I found a lot to inspire me in your parting words. On those days when I am looking on practice as a chore I'll stop and appreciate it for what it is: a gift.
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Yes, this.

Best wishes in whatever you do.
Posted by: Bluoh

Re: Stopping by again to say hi and bye - 11/17/12 01:25 AM

Good luck in whatever you do next, and remember to let the music live on in your heart. Stay strong.. smile