Tonight, while I was practicing the French Folk Song, O started humming a familar nursery rhyme from the kitchen. As usual, I heard lyrics first in German, then French (did I mention my awe and faux-jealousy that O happens to be at least trilingual?). We laughed a little as the song got stuck in both of our heads at once and he went back to work, but I couldn’t get the song unstuck.
A simple nursey rhyme; it was just a couple of notes strung together and repeated. I started picking at the D string. A few minutes later, I hear a voice come out of the kitchen.
“Is that what I think it is?”
I happily plucked on. In under five minutes I worked out the song entirely. O looked up from his monitor at me.
“You have that in your Suzuki book?”
“Nope,” I said merrily.
It took me a minute to realize what I had just done. I played it again. We hummed along. I sorted through the last measure a time or two until I had it just right. I grinned. I played it all the way through again. Start to finish. The notes came easily because I wasn’t looking at sheet music. I knew the notes by heart. Literally.
“I just taught myself a song,” I said finally. I kissed Cecelia.
There it is: my first cello breakthrough. I figured out how to play a song by ear.
The lyrics go something like this:
“Frère Jacques, frère Jacques,
Sonnez les matines! Sonnez les matines!
Ding, dang, dong. Ding, dang, dong.”
It’s not Bach, but I thought it was pretty damn cool, nonetheless.