Вы услышите рассказ писателя о его увлечении музыкой. В следующих заданиях выберите правильный ответ.
1. The narrator says that his musical career
1) changed its direction at the age of 11.
2) started roughly 30 years ago.
3) began after he had sung a song with his father.
2. When the narrator was almost 40,
1) he was already performing in public.
2) he had learned to sing the parts of ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’
3) he felt a desire to start playing music.
3. When the narrator got a mandolin, he
1) didn’t feel surprised.
2) felt a bit nervous.
3) felt relieved.
4. The narrator enjoyed playing the mandolin because
1) he was able to master difficult chords.
2) he was composing music.
3) he was able to relax after his everyday work.
5. The narrator went to the jam camp because
1) he wanted to perform in public.
2) he would like to speak to Dr. Banjo.
3) he was offered the easiest way to improve his skills.
6. In the camp the narrator learned that
1) to play songs he should know forty basic chords.
2) to grow as a musician he should possess certain qualities and abilities.
3) he could become a perfect mandolin player if he practises a lot.
7. When the narrator came back home last week, he was pleased because
1) Ruth had started taking music lessons.
2) his friends and relatives showed their interest in music.
3) Los Angeles was a different place.
1 – 1
2 – 3
3 – 2
4 – 3
5 – 1
6 – 2
7 – 2
To the outside world, we probably don’t sound like much. Failing publicly is the point at Dr. Banjo’s Bluegrass Jam Camp, where I have come to strum alongside rank beginners like me whose families couldn’t bear the twanging anymore.
My path to musical greatness was diverted roughly 30 years ago. At the age of 11, after three years of indentured servitude to my moody piano teacher, I was at the Baldwin upright when my father and I sang ‘Heart and Soul’ for the extended family at Thanksgiving dinner. The cheek pinching afterward was the final straw. I vowed never to play again.
It turned out the joke was on me. In the decades that followed, any urge to express myself musically had to be satisfied in the privacy of my shower or car. And while I could clap, snap, and hit all the high parts of ‘Bohemian Rhapsody,’ so could a howler monkey. As I approached 40, I felt a craving to actually play something, and not just my iPod.
The mandolin looks harmless enough. About the size of a tennis racket, it’s easy to get a clear, golden sound just by brushing your pick across its four sets of double strings. That doesn’t mean I didn’t feel slightly panicky when my wife surprised me with one. But I was in heaven. I signed up for lessons at a music shop in town and felt deep satisfaction. I was making music. The focus and fancy fingerwork the mandolin demands were a relief from pecking mindlessly at the computer all day. Somehow the usual anxieties of life — money, status, the possibility of a meteorite landing on my head — didn’t matter when every atom of my humanity was focused on mastering the four-fingered D chord.
My sister-in-law, who was dating a professional guitar player, brought him over one evening so we could play together. Part of me still believes my performance was the real reason he never called her again. But that experience got me thinking. What good was banging out songs alone in my living room when I could be inflicting them on complete strangers? When I typed jam camp for mandolin players into Google, the first result connected me to Dr. Banjo and his happy circles of hapless beginners. Dr. Banjo has been running camps around the country for bluegrass greenhorns since the early 1980s. ‘It’s easier than you think!’ his website promised. Learn to take ‘your first out-of-the-closet solos!’ The next thing I remember, I was on the airplane trying to shove my instrument case into the overhead bin.
There are many ways to grow as a musician, not to mention as a human being. So far this weekend, I’ve learned the importance of patience, gratitude, humility, resilience, and, above all, listening. On the practical level, I’ve discovered that once you master four basic chords, you can pretty much play along with every song in the bluegrass songbook. I know, too, that jamming, like life itself, isn’t about perfection but about playing through your mistakes and trusting that you’ll get back on track if you just keep up the rhythm.
When I actually do fly away, back home to Los Angeles, the world somehow feels like a different place. My older brother, never one to follow my lead, tells me that he, too, has decided to take up the mandolin. Around the same time, two friends — a photographer and a buttoned-up lawyer — show up at my door with a guitar and a banjo, respectively, asking to play. And last week, my dear, sweet Ruth emerged from the other room to say she wants to find the violin she hasn’t played for three decades. That might not sound like much to the outside world, but it’s definitely music to my ears.