My Broken Metronome…and a Metaphor

It’s story time.  While I was doing some cleaning a little bit ago, I ran across my old metronome.  For some reason, I still had it with me.  It has not worked in about 10 years and yet, it has made the move from Idaho to Oklahoma and back to Idaho (with many moves from house to house in there).  I enjoy the story of why I have a broken metronome and so, I thought I would share with you.

I got this metronome my freshman year of college.  It was a good one and very sturdy.  For those who know me, you know that I tend to drop things a lot and am just rather clumsy.  Well, I guess I dropped this metronome one too many times on the hard floor of Idaho State’s Fine Arts Building.  I had a small locker just outside of the practice rooms on the 2nd floor of that building.  I would keep my music and metronome and such in there so I did not have to transport it back and forth all week long.  Well, one day back in 2003 or 2004, it fell to its death.  I was a junior or a senior in college and took my metronome everywhere with me (like a good music student – haha).  Well, upon pulling my music out of my locker it fell and exploded once again.  I took it over to the “pianists corner” to put it back together.  The back would not stay on.  I initially thought “no big deal – I’ll just throw a rubber band around it or something.”  Well, I turned it on and it gave 2 clicks and promptly died.  No light flashing, no sound, no A440.  Just a dead metronome.  I did what any piano student would do – I took it to my applied teacher.  Now, my teacher was (and is) many things but a metronome fixer is not one of them.  She looked at me when I told her I broke it and was wondering if she could fix it and then promptly started laughing.  She asked me if she looked like she was an engineer or some other kind of person that was talented in fixing things.  I said, well sure.  She took the metronome and a post-it note and fiddled around on the innards.  Nope.  Nothing.  Nada.  My poor, devoted, sturdy metronome was dead.  I had killed it.  Not only did I learn to be more careful when pulling things out of high places, I learned that pianists are not always able to fix their own equipment.

Well, I bought a new metronome and it is still the one I use today.  It’s fabulous, with a lot of great settings, and it’s blue.  My mom even made a case for the metronome so that if it does fall (and trust me – it does), it has a cushion.

So, the real question is why do I still have this broken  metronome.  It was in a ziploc bag in the bottom of a plastic crate that I had not looked in for quite some time.  In fact, I was surprised I still had it in my possession.  I do not really know why I kept it except that it is a reminder of a time in my life and of people in my life.  I am throwing it out.  It does not work and there is really no point in me keeping something that just does not function in the capacity that it is supposed to function.

What are you holding onto in your life?  Are there things that are broken or not functioning properly that you can get rid of (physically or otherwise)?  Get rid of the junk.  Declutter your life.  Free your mind.

Peace and Love (And Steady Time),

The Mad Pianist


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