Wednesday, December 16, 2020

My Piano-Playing Childhood

Do any one of you know how to play a musical instrument?

When I was younger, I remember that almost everyone in my class was taking music lessons on the side. At the time, I think that the best music lessons for kids involved either voice lessons or playing the piano because that’s what most of us did. Since my father usually took care of the voice part for the family, they sent me to piano lessons. Conveniently enough, the grade school I went to offered those lessons after regular school hours so the time between the end of class and the time before I had to go home was spent in a tiny room with a teacher and a piano, with each room adjacent to another one that had yet another student, a teacher and a piano in it. I don’t know how many we were who took lessons at the same time but suffice to say we were enough to come up with a full morning recital at the end of the year.

It’s been a while since I played the piano but when I was younger I used to be very interested in it. I’ve seen photos of myself playing (OK, maybe just banging) the piano when I was a toddler. I was that young when I first became interested in playing. My father was always a musical person who loved to sing and play the piano…maybe I got that interest from him.

Probably my earliest photo in front of a piano.

I think that the piano lessons started less formally for me when I was younger through my older cousins, who knew how to play and were nice enough to let me press on the keys with them as they sat in front of the piano at our grandmother’s house. I remember learning the piece for the song “Somewhere in Time” through an older cousin – one of my favorite piano memories. To this day that is a song that I love to hear played on the piano.

Learning piano pieces was my favorite part of my lessons – even if the recitals that usually came after these lessons were one of my least favorite parts of the whole thing. I wish I had more time to relearn this because, to be honest, I am rusty with the keys. I think that’s because I never finished my lessons. After all, I kept switching interests between the flute and the piano during those fickle younger years.

I miss the feel of being in front of a piano and learning to play a song. The smell of the wood from the piano, the feel of the keys, the distinct sound that a finely tuned piano can make…it reminds me so much of my childhood years. Those were such good times.

Since I haven’t played regularly in years (I was in grade school when I took formal lessons), it takes time for me to read the sheet music now before I can play a piece. I think the last time I played anything was when I bought this portable keyboard and downloaded the sheet music to the song Cry from the movie A Walk to Remember. To be honest, that song took me forever to master (which, sadly, I have already forgotten). I’m that rusty with this piano-playing thing.

Maybe if playing the piano came naturally to me I wouldn’t be so bad at it even if I haven’t played in a while. I remember having a classmate who could play so well that she could play music she heard just minutes after hearing it. I wish I had that much talent! I’d love to just be able to sit in front of the piano and play from the heart the way I remember that she could!

I’m too old to take piano lessons the way I used to as a kid, but thankfully there are so many online tutorials now that I can watch for free if there is a piece I want to learn to play. It will still take me longer than normal but it can be done if I wanted to.

Maybe one day I can take the time to learn a piece again…if I can get the portable keyboard I have here at home to work again. In the meantime, I’ll listen to the piano pieces on my playlists on Spotify.

This is an old entry from my old blog, edited/updated for this one. Hope you liked it!

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