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Joined: May 2006
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Discussions in another thread have piqued my curiosity, and as I seem to be on one of my very infrequent posting sprees let's start up a new thread.

As this is the ABF the usual reasons obviously don't apply - eg. 'had to play an instrument for school'.

The barriers to entry wrt. piano playing as opposed to other instruments feels rather high. Pianos are big, they take up quite a bit of space, they're very heavy resulting in logistical problems with purchasing one (not digitals obviously), they can cost quite a bit of money. They can't easily be hidden away in a closet the way most instruments can. So, why did you start up with the piano?

Personally I started simply because I wanted to try something completely different. I hadn't previously played anything remotely resembling an instrument, had basically no knowledge of music theory, had no idea whatsoever what all the funny little dots and squiggly lines on a piece of sheet music represented.
Playing an instrument was so far out of my regular frames of reference that once the idea had popped into my head it refused to go away. It still took atleast a year from when the idea first occured to me until I actually acted on it.

Piano specifically was an easy choice, I like the way pianos sound and they work well as solo instruments which is a must as I have no aspirations to play with others.

Simon

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Well, after 30+ years off I bought an electronic Wurlitzer "piano" for $50 from a friend who needed grocery money, back in '89 or so, and just goofed around on it for several years - Hanon sometimes, because I didn't know what else to play eek I was primarily a dancer, and some of the dancers would play a couple of sets for dancing a couple of times a month. I loved dancing to live music - there's just a whole different feel to it than cd's or, gulp, lp's or tapes smile There had been, I think 3 different pianists over the 5 or 6 years I had been dancing, and occasionally I'd go stand behind them to watch what they were doing (and now I understand how patient they were with me doing that - now I, too, play while potential players watch over my shoulder). So when the last of them said she was moving I didn't want the live music to stop - assuming the other dancers preferred live music, too. So I told them I could do it. ho ho. I haven't looked back from playing for dancing with a group of musicians, tho I did run into some people who didn't want live music - difficult to believe, but there it is laugh We've branched out to playing for other kinds of dancing, musicians' kids' bar mitzvahs, musicians' friend's graduations, dancer's weddings, charity fundraisers, bars on St Pat's, church services, etc. But we are basically an open of group of people who get together every Sunday evening and just play music. So I sort of came thru the back door smile

Cathy


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Hi Sii[mon],

My brother and I started piano when I was ten and he was fourteen. We had been taking gymnastics and failing miserably, both of us being incorrigibly un-acrobatic, and we asked our parents for a piano. They obliged. I knew how to read music because the public schools I had attended happened to have wonderful music programs.

My brother quit playing when he went off to college, but I kept up through college and beyond, until about seven years ago, when I lost the capacity to concentrate. I've been struggling to resume piano practice ever since and have been through half a dozen piano teachers in the interim. I think piano represents many things I want to have in my life: beauty, discipline, mastery, joy. It's getting much better, but I have quite a bit of "lost ground" to recover.


"When life gives you a lemonwood Gaveau [piano], make a place for it (or, what is the same thing, find a wealthy foreign collector/enthusiast to sell it to)." --adapted from and inspired by _The Piano Shop on the Left Bank_ by Thad Carhart
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I re-started because I want a "right brained" activity for self expression. And then I end up spending so much time in front of the computer (left-brained) because of the ABF! :p I guess I am well balanced by the two keyboards! laugh


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I first started when I was quite young, I'm not entirely certain when, because there was always a keyboard lying around the house, even though nobody in my family is particularly musical. After my house burned down (thats another story....) the kind people at the insurance company replaced our flimsy 'toy' keyboard with something that sounded half decent. This is when I started taking an interest, although for several years it just remained something I'd dabble with from time to time if I was bored.

I only became focused and made a conscious effort to learn to play piano about 7 months ago. Only now that I'm thinking about it have I actually realised that this was at the same time that I split up with my girlfriend of 2 years. So maybe I turned to the piano as a way of getting myself through that hard time and letting out my emotions through music? That seems plausible, although I've never consciously realised this until now!


"All my life I've had one dream: to achieve my many goals." - Homer Simpson
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Took up piano at 73. Why? I took up guitar at 65, when I retired and have been playing acoustic backup guitar in our Country band for the last seven years. Lead guitar is not in my future, however, keyboard accompaniment could be. So I bought a keyboard and am having the time of my life. Still at home, have not reached the point I can play in public ......... yet.

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I've decided to play because for some reason, if there is a piano around... I'm drawn in. I can't get it out of my head. It takes all my strenght to not go over and play around with it... even though I can't play. So, I've decided to finally get one... and I now also have a son. I would like music to be a part of his life as he grows up. My father is a musician... and I learned guitar. So, hopefully my son will enjoy it as well... at least there will be more than one choice of music for him to try... but I'm not buying drums :p


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I came back to the piano for a proper re-start because I know exactly what I want to play so I have immediate goals. Also, with that knowledge I can cruise the internet and buy method dvds & books that my local music shop doesn't stock to help me cut down on the learning time.

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I had a couple of weeks of lessons at age 7 from an old nun who hated kids and told me I was too clumsy to ever play the piano. Naturally, I never tried again for many years, although I always loved baroque and classical keyboard music.

About a year ago, I got a small keyboard just to fool around with. I became intrigued by the relationships between the notes (why do adjoining notes sound terrible when played together, but playing every other note can sound pleasing?). I got a digital piano and found that I wasn't clumsy or stupid at all--I could really learn to play and read music! Now, I'm making good progress, and I love it.

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I had lessons as a child from ages 7 to 13 from two piano teachers. Having piano lessons from the second teacher was a very trying experience. When she became ill and could no longer teach it was with great joy that I stopped piano lessons. I played on and off for the next 27 years more off than on.

I restarted piano seriously about four years ago because I made the astounding discovery that music is a language just like any written or spoken language. I finally had the ability to understand what I was playing. I've kept going since this time and haven't looked back. Last year I resumed lessons after 30 years. I'm really enjoying the musical journey as an adult far more than i did as a child.

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I started piano as an adult because it was something that I always wanted to do. My mother tried giving me lessons when I was 5, but I was hampered by the fact that my mother did not wish to hear practice-she wanted to hear perfect. Since I was unable to produce perfect, the lessons went away. However, the desire never left and I promised myself once I was out on my own and could afford it, I would get a piano of my own and take lessons. It took a LONG time, but I was finally able to do it. I have learned to make mistakes, and understand that it is through those mistakes that I improve.


I have a deep and satisfying relationship with my Yamaha U1...
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My dad was a professional musician so there was always a piano near by. When I was 11 he tried to get me to take lessons but being an obstinate fool I fought him and won. Ironically a few years later I heard a kid at school play the moonlight sonata and decided i would learn it. I taught myself to read (marginally) and worked my way note by note through the first movement. then another kid at school showed my the blues scale in C and that was it for lessons and classical. I wrote songs for the next 20 years and only about ten years ago (after hearing Listz's Sonotina 104) did I decide to take some lessons and learn classical. I took lessons for two years and now thoroughly enjoy struggling through pieces over my head. A day without piano is a day unfulfilled.

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I always wanted to play piano. 3hearts When I was younger I tried guitar but my heart wasn't in it. I started my daughter on lessons and her teacher was willing to teach me. We started with a digital but our teacher suggested we get an acoustic for a variety of reasons so we did. I absolutely love fiddling around on it even though I am not very accomplished it is something I can lose myself in.


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Here is what I wrote in another thread
Quote
Originally posted by TrueBeginner:
...During the search for my daughter's piano, as I could not play, I asked a salesperson to play some tunes on different pianos so we could make the decision. He was obviously bias on the brand he liked to sale. He played the heart out on it and just so so on other pianos. Any way, I was mad and vowed to learn some tunes so the next time when we ever want to buy or trade up the piano, I can make the decision myself wink So I started printing music sheet from the internet and that is how my piano journey began.
laugh laugh


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I had played a couple years in my childhood and lost the privilege when I wasn't good enough for my family. I was always drawn to the piano though and it was a soothing thing whenever I was alone with one. years passed without access and I recently started renting a house. This house had an empty space, the perfect space for a piano in the living room. The longing returned and I bought a piano.

This is my first week with it back in my life. I'm reclaiming what I allowed others to remove in an effort to be happy.


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I've always been in love with the piano. I used to beg to learn when I was little but my folks could not afford lessons or even a piano!

I grew up and had a beautiful little boy who showed some interest, so we started piano lessons.

He started quite young (barely 4) so I had (have) to sit down and do his lessons with him. I realized that I REALLY enjoyed helping him and learning along the way. His teacher is a wonderful, patient woman so I started lessons too. It's a musical journey both my little boy and I are on together and it is wonderful.

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Hi,

I first took piano lessons – along with a considerable proportion of my generation – in the 1950s. I was born in 1946. I can still remember the grim cheerless atmosphere of the room and the daunting look of the old upright piano. But of the music, and the teacher, I can recall nothing whatever. Dull rote learning is all I remember of those early attempts. Grinding grimly up and down scales and exercises. I can remember not a single melody, and the teacher was so uninspiring that I can’t even recall if it was a man or a woman.


Fast forward 30 years to attempt number two. I took lessons for a while from a woman who had been a resident musician in the local symphony orchestra for many decades. She taught piano in a conventional way. We started with a John Thompson early beginner book – the sort of thing that had pictures of Indians in wigwams, choo-choo trains, and kids on hobby horses. I liked the woman a lot, but the piano remained as resolutely dull and inaccessible as before. I stopped for the second time.


Fast forward to age 58 when it now seemed likely that music would remain something that "other people" did. Those with some sort of musical gene that I lacked perhaps. But then I took up guitar. I took a couple of terms of lessons from a patient and enthusiastic teacher who mostly taught kids from the local schools. His tastes were broad and his style motivating. He didn't insist on reading standard notation from the start, but used simple rhythm notations and chord names instead. I later switched to self teaching and my progress was more erratic from then on. But he’d given me a good foundation. With no pressure on me to specifically learn to read music, I finally did it anyway. At last, I could decode those damned dots.

After two years I was asked to join an informal trio that plays in the local music shop every week. We play from scores, fake books, memory, or whatever crops up. Anybody who wanders in can join in if they like. We've had all sorts, from drums, banjo, guitar and mandolin to cello and double bass – and even a four year old playing percussion on his juice bottle. smile

I had also started writing songs. My lyric writing wasn't too bad, but the composition side of things was very weak. I could hear what I wanted to write but I couldn't make it happen. As part of the quest to improve that, I decided to learn how to put songs together from the ground up - track by track. A bit of percussion and bass, some lead and some rhythm, etc. This led me to also explore other instruments, and piano was an obvious candidate.

However, instead of learning enough just to add a few chords of keyboard accompaniment to add to a backing track, I'm getting a lot more involved with the piano than I expected. It's third time lucky, and I'm finally enjoying the sort of musical life that I caught a glimpse of fifty years ago. It's all the more sweet for the wait. laugh

Cheers,

Chris


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Hi Simon,

For me it was a combination of factors. Since I was 8, I've always played a musical instrument at any time. I was getting tired of electric guitar and wanted to do something 'serious'. So it was a choice between violin and piano.

After watching movies such as The Pianist, and The Piano and hearing the fantastic music, I was sold on the piano!

And also the most important factor, I had just been given some money as a present, so it gave me access to purchase an entry-level digital.

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My husband still says from time to time "Where did this come from?" About 8 years ago I was visiting my (then 5 and 7 year old) nieces who were taking lessons. They showed me how to find D (Dinasour in the cave between the two black keys). I had never been exposed to music as a child other than a few years in glee club and church choir in junior high. It was a spur of the moment thing for me and when I went home I insisted on purchasing a 66-key Casio (my husband was sure it was just a whim). After a year of noodling on my own I took a few lessons from the local conservatory and was hooked. When I started working at a university I checked with an instructor there and have been taking lessons from him ever since. A year into these lessons my husband surprised me with a full-sized Roland digital piano that I still have and love. It's an amazing journey and I can't imagine my life without piano now.


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I've always liked piano music and ragtime music. After I retired I wanted to learn a new hobby to keep my brain active. I mentioned this to my wife one day in passing. That Christmas I received a Yamaha Keyboard from her. I messed around trying to self teach myself with Afreds Adult all in one course. Thats when I was bitten by the piano bug. I have been taking lessons for about two years now. Its a slow go but I really enjoy it.


wj3

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