Extracts from The Diaries of 'Professor' Cornelius Crane

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October 3rd, 1968

I foolishly believed that my superior intellect would be a boon in swiftly becoming skilled in the language of music – in this case, learning to play the piano.

But, as with the learning of any new language, the true advantage comes from possessing the natural serenity and persistence of a child’s patience; the patience that normally comes with youth.

It is this same tolerance that all children naturally possess when learning, not only a new language, but in many cases, their first and only one.

Through repetition the baby will eventually start saying its first words. In many cases this is normally ‘Mamma,’ ‘Dadda’ or similar words of equal significance and weight.

It can take years before a child even begins stringing together his first barely-intelligible sentences.

This is why it is also far easier for a child to learn the language of music. Only a child has that special resilience that comes with the infuriating necessity of much rote; the endurance necessary for accepting the inculcation of data.

I, unfortunately, do not have that youthful staying power.

Having to learn scales is having me scale the walls!

And, although Miss Fifield, my piano teacher, an old spinster who wears her hair in a bun, and if her skin were green would have an uncanny resemblance to the Wicked Witch of the West, possesses the kindness and patience most necessary in her line of work - I, unfortunately, do not!

If anything, this exercise has certainly increased my admiration for all those people who have managed to master proficiency in this particular instrument.

I don’t think I’m going to be able to go the distance with this, once ambitious and exciting, idea and endeavor.

I had hoped by now that I would be banging out a few Cole Porter or Gershwin tunes.

Hell, I can’t even do a decent rendition of the bloody chopsticks!!!


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