Sign in with Youtube Sign in with Instagram

Sharon Bill Music Tutor & Author

Burning the Midnight Oil

Grieg's 'Notturno' seems like the perfect piano piece for a bout of insomnia. With the volume down (or the practise pedal locked on) it shouldn't disturb anybody - but even if they do wake it's a pleasant piece to fall back asleep to.

I used to practise this and also 'Butterfly' (also by Grieg) when my husband and I were first courting. I also remember playing them when the children were toddlers. I'd be seated at the piano and three chubby little pairs of hands would be tinkling away either side of me. Inevitably fingers would get entangled and the end result often sound more like an angry wasp than a graceful butterfly. There's a pleasing symmetry to the fact that my daughter now plays this piece herself.

There is one distinct difference to my nostalgic rendition of these pieces as the dawn begins to descend. It might be that I'm making a better job of the music after years of playing and maybe a little musical maturity is added to the mix. Sadly, I'm thinking of something a little less edifying - my back didn't ache when I played for a long time all those years ago!