Post by sachertorteforall on Sept 26, 2011 21:01:26 GMT -5
Roderich stepped over the threshold of the Walser manor, the familiar old butler escorting him into the entryway. The man took Roderich's hat and coat as they exchanged formal "hello"s, just as they did every Wednesday and had been doing for well over three years now.
The butler walked him to the sitting room, a sophistically decorated room with all the decor centered around the majestic grand piano that flung its length dramatically through the space. Roderich nodded to the butler and sat down on the bench next to his pupil, little Lili Walser--who, while delicate, had certainly matured into a young lady over the course of their piano lessons together.
"Good afternoon, Lili," he said cordially, offering her a smile. "Have you been practicing?" The words fell easily from his mouth, all a part of their weekly routine. She was a bright student, and a hard worker as well, and for that he was very thankful.
He opened a well-loved book of warm-ups in different keys and set it on the sleek stand, starting off the lesson as they always did.
Post by Lili Walser on Oct 3, 2011 19:31:32 GMT -5
Lili spent a good part of her Wednesday morning, as usual, playing the piano. Or practicing. Or missing several notes in the moderately difficult piece she was set to study. It frustrated her, just how well she could play when Roderich Edelstein was there, but how horridly she played when he wasn't. It was as if her fingers knew they were being scrutinized, and so they wouldn't dare to miss a note. Of course, it could also be that she was just tired today... she hadn't slept well the night before. Dreams and memories were haunting her again as they often did.
She took a light lunch before Roderich was due to arrive, and read for a short while. Then it was time to go settle on the piano bench again and await her tutor. When he stepped into the room, escorted by Sebastian, she smiled. "Thank you, Sebastian. Good afternoon, Mr. Edelstein." She paused, then nodded. "Y-yes. I have... b-but... I'm still having some trouble with the song." Her voice was soft. It was part of their routine, and honestly, a comforting part. It was nice to be able to admit to her problems, rather than have to show him entirely.
As he sat the warm-ups on the stand, she placed her fingers lightly on the keys, but waited for his go-ahead before she began. After all, he hadn't told her which to play.
Post by sachertorteforall on Feb 8, 2012 21:14:05 GMT -5
He nodded sagely as she told him about the little difficulty she was having with the piece he had assigned her last week.
"That's quite all right," he assured her with a smile. "I have no doubt that you've made excellent progress in the last few days."
The waltz in G-sharp was none to easy for someone of her skill level, and he had decided to challenge her a bit. How else, he reasoned, would she learn, if not by attempting that which she couldn't perfect in a week?
She looked at him expectantly, so Roderich pointed out a line in the warm-up book, the edges of the cream-colored paper yellowing in the slightest. "Why don't we start with the C scale?" he suggested. That was nice and familiar. It had been one of the very first things he himself had learned to play on the piano, so he had a certain soft spot in his heart for the simple succession of notes. "After that, you can go ahead with the F major scale."
He shifted his weight on the piano bench and tapped out a beat with his foot in lieu of a metronome. The little contraptions were too meddlesome to be dealt with, in his opinion. He preferred the old-fashioned way.
Post by Lili Walser on Feb 9, 2012 15:54:35 GMT -5
Lili relaxed slightly as Roderich reassured her, though she had her own doubts as to just how far she had progressed. She knew that she could never hope to coax the notes out of the piano just as wonderfully as her tutor did, but she did hope to become passable at least. Of course, this being the first time she'd had much difficulty at all with something he'd left her, she would start to fret that perhaps she wasn't as good as she'd always hoped, even if it wasn't true in the slightest.
Once he pointed out the scale with which to begin - the familiar C scale - she smiled lightly. C might be her favorite, if only because she'd played it so many times she could probably find the keys in her sleep. And then from C to F major. Also one that was mostly familiar, though every so often she would accidentally slip and hit a wrong key. It was hard, sometimes, to keep looking at the music, rather than checking her finger placement... but every time she caught herself wanting to glance down, she'd just concentrate harder on the music sheets in front of her.
Honestly, though she had a metronome, she preferred his way of keeping time as well. The metronome was just... too mechanical. It had a way of giving her a headache if she listened to it for too long while she played - but she had to play with something or someone keeping time, else she risked learning improperly.
Once she'd played the two warmups he'd given her, she rested her hands in her lap and looked up at him, awaiting his next instructions.
Post by sachertorteforall on Feb 13, 2012 21:29:23 GMT -5
"Excellent," he commended her. Once in a while, he became aware of how often he offered these little bits of praise to her, like biscuits to a lapdog. At first, early on in their lessons together, he thought it was only because she was a shy, sweet little girl, as timid as children could get. Upon further reflection, he came to the conclusion that perhaps he was subconsciously trying to teach her the exact opposite way he had been taught--through simple compliments, smiles, and gentle corrections instead of brusque agains and curt explanations.
After all, the piano wasn't a military exercise or an arithmetic concept. At least, to him, it wasn't. It was an instrument capable of coaxing out the deepest, most concealed feelings of the whitewashed walls people wore. It was an art, not a science.
Roderich closed the book of warm-ups and set it off to the side of the stand. With that out of the way, he set down the single piece of sheet music that he had assigned her last week.
"Ready to tackle this one?" he asked, raising an eyebrow. It was almost a challenge, and he hoped that Lili would accept.
Post by Lili Walser on Feb 15, 2012 21:51:46 GMT -5
Hearing his compliment, she smiled, tucking her chin. It was always a relief when he approved, though he was never as harsh with her as her other tutors when he didn't. The fact that the others were usually brusque only served to make Roderich her favorite - nevermind that the lessons would likely be her favorite anyway. She loved the piano almost as much as she loved embroidering and reading - and that was, indeed, saying something.
As he placed the waltz on the stand in front of her, however, a very, very faint pout crossed her lips - something she'd never do with those other tutors. It spoke to how much she trusted the man sitting beside her that she'd even show him this much. She wasn't altogether pleased with this piece, or her progress on it... but it was almost a challenge that he'd set before her, and, rather like her cousin, she wasn't one to back down quite so easily. Especially from a piece of music.
"J-ja... I... I suppose." Even if she did show her trepidation. Hesitantly, she placed her fingers on the keys, then glanced at him again, waiting for his cue.
Post by sachertorteforall on Apr 9, 2012 20:43:53 GMT -5
He knew that, for this one hour on this one day of the week, she had to put on a brave face and trek her way through whatever murky waters the waltz housed for her. An image of her throwing a screaming tantrum in frustration at the piece suddenly crossed his mind, and it amused him only in that it was completely absurd. Lili was the epitome of a calm, conscientious student--which was exactly why he had faith that she could master this waltz, if not this week, then by the next.
Roderich tapped out the preliminary measures' tempo with thin fingers on the deep ebony of the piano, then nodded for her to start playing.
Post by Lili Walser on Apr 17, 2012 23:22:37 GMT -5
Lili waited for him to dictate the pace, waited for his nod, and even then, waited for a moment or two to clear her mind. She had to focus on nothing but the beat and the music in front of her, else she'd be lost before she started. And she had to give this her best shot, for Roderich. The last thing she wanted was to disappoint him.
Softly, she began to play, her eyes never leaving the sheet music on the stand. It was just complicated enough that she couldn't look down, else she'd never find her place again - and she supposed that was a good thing, because it kept her from looking down.
The first few measures were easily played; they gave her no trouble. However, once the music increased in its complexity, she faltered once, then twice, then again. On the third fumble, she gave up, and rested her hands in her lap, cheeks flushed faintly. It took her a moment, but she finally spoke. "I... I've been unable to make it past that yet."
Post by sachertorteforall on Apr 19, 2012 21:35:24 GMT -5
He closed his eyes as she soared gracefully through the first several lines of the piece, but opened them at her first mistake. She played on, but the piece quickly proved too treacherous for her dainty fingers, and she admitted defeat.
"That's quite all right," he assured her. He hadn't expected her to master this section at all; in fact, he was surprised at the almost flawless performance of the first part. "These runs are the most difficult part of the piece, and once you get past them, the end is just the repetition of the melody again. You've perfected that, certainly."
She reminded Roderich of a meek little lamb, and perhaps he had been leading her to slaughter by assigning the whole piece last week. He gently went about showing her, step by step, the run of sixteenth notes jammed into four measures.
"It's easy, as long as you don't let all those notes intimidate you," he explained. "Just remember what key you're in, and don't forget to skip the G. Why don't you try?" he prompted with a slight nod toward the sheet music.
Post by Lili Walser on Apr 22, 2012 19:44:03 GMT -5
The blonde tucked her chin as he opened his mouth to speak, almost fearing the harsh words of her other tutors. She ought to know better by now, though... Roderich was never harsh with her. At his reassurance, she peeked through her lashes at him, then blushed faintly at his praise. Those were words to be treasured.
She watched as he showed her the run of notes, first slowly to show finger placement, then to tempo. As always, she was in awe of his sheer ease and mastery of the piano keys... if she could, she'd watch him play more often.
"Why don't you try?"
Hesitantly, she nodded, and placed her hands on the keys. If she could get through this slowly, she could, in theory, match the tempo momentarily. And after a false start, and a slip and catching the G, she'd made it through the run for the first time. She smiled brightly up at him, fairly pleased with herself for only taking three tries to get the finger placements right. "L-Like that?"