Monday, September 30, 2013

Piano Post Part 1: Why Piano is Awesome!

Most of you  (okay, probably all of you) know that I play volleyball. Volleyball is one of those things that is easy to talk about, I think, because  you don't have to know much about it to talk about it! Even when strangers are unfamiliar with sports in general, it is easy to ask what team someone is on and what their season has been like, without necessarily knowing how volleyball is played. Piano, on the other hand, is a topic that comes up less often in conversations. I mean, what's a person supposed to ask? "Do you like piano?" And "Are you good?" are two questions I get asked a lot. (The latter is a trick question... if you say you stink, everyone assumes you're being overly humble and lecture you about being hard on yourself. If you say you're good, people think you're a prideful pig. There is no winning with this question!) Anyways, you can give a comprehensive answer those questions in about two syllables, and then it's your turn to scramble to find something to make small talk about! ( I usually resort to talking about volleyball... imagine that!)

So, I will tell you what I think about piano, without you having to figure out the right kind of questions to ask. Sound like a plan?

I have been playing piano for about ten years (some years more diligently than others!) and overall, I really do enjoy it. My dad was just saying the other day that he doesn't understand WHY I enjoy it. But for one thing, it's an energy outlet. When was about six or seven, Mom always used to tell us that, if we get angry, don't hit a person, go to your room and pound a pillow. But...pillows are so... unresponsive! They don't groan or scream or express any emotion whatsoever Which is why, for a while at least, I made my little brother my "pillow." But several lectures (and well-deserved spankings) later, I found a new "replacement pillow" that allowed me to get my angry energy out: the piano. No matter how hard I pound on the keys, they remain intact and I remain in control. :) By the time I've played 'He's a Pirate' the fourth or fifth time, I stand up from the piano much more relaxed. (albeit, my family has usually exited the area at this point.) Of course, when I was five or six, I punched out songs like "Old Mac Donald" or "Twinkle, Twinkle, but the calming effect was still about the same. :) (although my family was probably worse  off  then than they are now. There's something about an aggressive, repeatedly played Twinkle, Twinkle that will darken the mood (and damage the ear drums.)

Another reason I like piano is because it's something I can do. For me, with a lot of things, I work really hard and don't see the results I want. This drives me crazy because I (wrongly) feel entitled to doing well if I've put the work in. Piano is one thing that, if I work HARD (I'm not a natural) I can learn the music. I can make my fingers do what I want them to. I'm the farthest thing from being naturally gifted in this area, but the results, though slow, are visible! Because of this, piano has been one of the most rewarding hobbies I've taken up.
That's all for now! Next time I'll talk about the challenges that I have with piano. (And there are plenty!)


  1. I took piano lessons for 10 years, too, and I still struggle to know how to answer the question, "Are you good?" Mostly, I am just thankful for my mother's persistence in making me practice (and I have thanked her for it!) because I do enjoy having the ability to sit down and read music and play. I don't do it very often anymore, though, and I wish I did take the time to! I'd like to hear you play sometime!

  2. It's so fun to hear you talk about piano, and you're right! I hadn't really thought about it but piano doesn't pop up much in conversations, does it? Sports seem so much more natural!