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#2558522 - 07/25/16 12:43 AM Why Do You Play The Piano?
Piano World Offline

Registered: 05/24/01
Posts: 6100
Loc: Parsonsfield, ME (orig. Nahant...
Why Do You Play The Piano?

There is an article in the July/August issue of Clavier Companion (www.ClavierCompanion.com) by *Julie Jaffee Nagel.

She poses the question... Why do you play the piano?
It's an interesting article, starting with ...
"While I cannot speak for you, nor can I give definitive answers (the answers to this question are by nature complex).
i am going to address how music affects many people, how it leads to taking piano lessons, playing in recitals, and, for some, becoming professional musicians."

The article goes on to talk about ...
the power of music
First Contact (Do you remember your first contact with a piano?)

*Julie is a Ph.D, a graduate of The Juilliard school, The university of Michigan, and the Michigan Psychoanalytic Institute.
Her website is at www.julienagel.net

We aren't going to get quite that deep, or are we?

Why DO YOU Play the Piano?
So go ahead, tell us Why you play the piano, how did you first get interested, who or what inspired you, what keeps you going?

For me the answer is pretty simple.
My dad played, my older sister still does.
Dad was an iron worker by trade, worked hard building sky-scrapers, bridges, and other huge steel structures.

Yet he loved to play piano, especially pieces like the Poet & the Peasant Overture, the 1812 Overture, and novelty pieces like Tico Tico and Nola.
As a young boy I'd dance around the room while he played, caught up in the wonder of watching my dad's fingers produce great music out of our old upright piano.

And I was fascinated by the mechanics of the piano, I wanted to know what made it tick. I took the old upright piano apart, and after much struggle managed to put it back together again.

I wanted to learn to play, and chose Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata as the piece I wanted to learn. My dad showed me where middle C was on the sheet music and where it was on the piano keyboard.
Then he taught me what the tic-tac-toe sign meant on the music.
I worked from middle C counting all the lines and spaces up and down on the sheet music, and up and down on the keyboard. It took me forever, but I stuck with it and finally figured out the first movement. I still love to play that piece even today.

Then along came a new band from England, some long haired chaps called The Beatles and everything changed forever. I wanted to be in a rock band, and by the age of 15 I was in one.

I'll fill in some more later, but not it's your turn...
- Frank B.
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#2558526 - 07/25/16 12:55 AM Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? [Re: Piano World]
Michael Taylor Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/05/11
Posts: 381
Loc: Discovery Bay, California
I first took piano lessons as a child. We didn't own a piano and were too poor to buy one. For some reason, my mom let me take lessons anyway. After completing 3 or 4 lessons, I quit. 40 years later, I bought a piano and started taking lessons again.

I play because I find it relaxing. I only play for myself, no audience....I tend to choke. I'm really not that good, but I enjoy it anyway.
Piano obsession started November 2010.
Ragtime Butcher
Kayserburg U123

#2558530 - 07/25/16 02:28 AM Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? [Re: Piano World]
Groove On Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/20/15
Posts: 689
For me it's partially about all the lovely memories I have growing up. And how the Piano was always there taking in all the emotions and moments from friends and family and giving it back for us to hear, see and share with each other. The music binds all that together in a very powerful and poignant way.

Today, it's a way of remembering all that and at the same time bringing it all forward into the now and the future.
Acoustic Upright + Roland FP-30
The question is, am I making music or just playing a bunch of notes?

#2558534 - 07/25/16 02:42 AM Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? [Re: Piano World]
drewr Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/07/16
Posts: 202
Loc: Pennsylvania
In the spring of 71' my parents allowed me to begin piano lessons. About 6 weeks in I had been making progress but of course the rate of progress was becoming more difficult, requiring me to devote more time into practice which I was loath to do 😟. By then school was out for the summer, lots of other activities to enjoy that did not require me to study and concentrate to be good at, like baseball .... if only piano had come so easy and naturally for me like sports. I copped out and decided to quit piano, parents would have preferred I stick with it but left the decision up to me. A day or two later a dear aunt and uncle made a visit like they did often, uncle enjoyed walking our dog and asked me to come along. Along the way he turned to me with sincere look in his eyes and said "buddy, i understand you are thinking of giving up piano but I hope you will reconsider because I am afraid that if you do quit, you will come to regret the decision when you are older. " Here I am, 45 years later, 2-plus years into beginner lessons, half way through book 2 of Bastiens' 2 book course for adult beginners, remembering uncle's words AND , every time I sit down to practice and encounter difficulty, regretting that decision long ago;argh!

I've decided that since the clock can never be turned back, I want to play piano while still physically & mentally capable and drink up the regret as much as possible along the way ! ; and at least develop enough proficiency to derive my own personal pleasure. This goal has already been reached somewhere around the 18 month point. The next goal is to continue practicing, learning and getting better so that perhaps one day I can play for the enjoyment of others. The studio where I took lessons had voluntary recital opportunity, once a month, to play for a small audience. It was around the 18 month mark I tried a recital for the first time, "Christmas student showcase". That turned out to be very rewarding, somewhat nerve wracking at the moment of my performance, and a bit like a snippet from a Seinfeld episode. Prior to the start of performances, all performers were herded into the back room to wait their turn. I was the only adult surrounded by twenty some children 7 to 15 years old, all of them a lot more nervous, anxious and fidgety than I but no doubt will be far more accomplished than I by the time they mature .... it was rewarding and educational to be in their company a brief while .... visions of Kramer in Kar-a-tay, but I kinda caught the performer bug, did showcase 6 months in a row.

Edited by drewrst (07/25/16 02:46 AM)
- Kawai MP7 w/ MDR7506 phones and LSR308 monitors
- Roland HP-508

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#2558539 - 07/25/16 03:41 AM Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? [Re: Piano World]
PhilipInChina Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/19/13
Posts: 2837
Loc: Bulgaria
What else would I do with it?
Currently working towards "Twinkle twinkle little star"

#2558548 - 07/25/16 06:26 AM Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? [Re: Piano World]
MacMacMac Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 5045
Loc: North Carolina
I had no real exposure to the piano when young. My best friend's mother had a piano. He played cello. His brother played violin. But when I visited his home I'd do little more than a one-finger tap on the piano, trying to find a simple melody. Until my early 30's my total time at the piano might have been ten minutes.

Then my wife decided she wanted a piano. One of those used classified-ad pianos. Knowing she'd drop a hobby as quickly as she started, I bought her a $200 Casio keyboard. She gave it a go. I was not especially interested, but with actual beginner books in the house I tried too.

She gave it up, but I tinkered on. (No teacher, no lessons.) Meanwhile I took a liking to classical music (LPs and CDs), finding there art that had ever escaped my attention. Eventually I bought a used Kawai upright in 1995 and gave it some semi-serious attention. All self-taught without the benefit of any real method, and with mediocre results.

In 2008 I decided the piano maintenance was too high so I bought a Clavinova, and I gave more attention to the piano. Still no lessons, but quite a bit more commitment. Had I taken lessons I'm sure I'd have some real ability by now. But lacking such, I muddle on just for my own enjoyment. An audience of one.

The experience has been mind changing. There is more in the music than I ever knew. And there is more in me than I ever knew. Music was always right in front of my face (and ears), yet the art and the beauty had completely escaped my notice ... until I got serious with the piano. It's fun all around. I just wish I had started earlier, taken lessons, and given serious time and attention to it when young.
Prices Paid spreadsheet online

#2558554 - 07/25/16 07:05 AM Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? [Re: Piano World]
Pianoperformance Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/19/16
Posts: 336
Always wanted to learn as a kid, but we couldnt afford the luxury. So i joined the school choir. I love music, in many forms. Upon major life changing event, I was reminded of my dream, here I am teacher in toil, and I am loving the expereince. Also, playing the piano has taught me much about life lessons too! Life is short, and I choose joy! With enough perseverance, and patience, the results are beautiful and enriching. I would say, nothing is ever too late to try, come back to, and anything is possible if you put in the time.
3 years of lessons, finally my chopin prelude 4 was deemed concert ready. The effort to learn, going beyond the technical challenges of a score and putting my feelings into a piece finally earned my place as a pianist.. working on a recital program for my virtual performance! I am doing this for me, and it feels great!

Edited by Pianoperformance (07/25/16 07:17 AM)
Dream came true : playing the piano
Kawai CS11/Yamaha Arius 161
lessons: 150 hours + counting

#2558560 - 07/25/16 07:28 AM Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? [Re: Piano World]
guyl Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/16/13
Posts: 393
Loc: Montreal, Canada
It's a form of personal expression. I have been a church pianist for decades and one comment that has come back many times is that I seem to communicate my enthusiasm effectively this way. I am not the one most at ease in expressing emotion verbally, but it seems to be natural musically.
What do snowflakes and Chickerings have in common? There are no two exactly alike!

#2558563 - 07/25/16 07:41 AM Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? [Re: Piano World]
bSharp(C)yclist Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/18/16
Posts: 586
Loc: Orange County, California
I started playing piano and taking lessons *officially* at the age of 43, back in December 2015. My exposure to it before that was just what a girlfriend had taught me in my early twenties and some stuff from the Alfred's books.

There was always a piano in my home growing up. I never touched it. I did play trumpet, but gave that up for sports in middle school.

I've always liked the sound of a piano though. After being in school for a long time and working, I decided to do something for myself so I invested in piano lessons, thinking I'll give it a try for 6 months and see where it goes. I never imagined I would be where I'm at now and playing the things I can. It's really a lot of fun and relaxing. The only bad thing about piano is that it is taking away the time I would have normally been cycling on my bike!! Haha.

The school I'm enrolled in will be going to NYC in February to play at Carnegie Hall. I signed up for and figured I'd make a trip of it since I have family near NYC on the east coast. I think it will be a fun experience!
YouTube Channel

#2558569 - 07/25/16 08:41 AM Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? [Re: Piano World]
dogperson Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/16/15
Posts: 1959
Loc: Florida
There was a piano sitting in my childhood living room-- but always unplayed and no one in my household admitted to knowing how to play it. This was from a generation of 'every living room needs a piano'. There was also never any music played at home by my parents.

But somehow I knew as a preschool child that I wanted to play that piano and make my own music, so I begged for piano lessons. I remember the 'mom-lecture' before my first lesson as clearly as it was yesterday, rather than decades earlier. 'If you don't pay attention, or don't practice your teacher will not keep you as a student, as she thinks you are too young'. So, lessons began, and indeed I did practice for hours every day. I would walk through the living room, see the lonely piano sitting there and sit down for a few minutes.. which turned into a few hours. Other instruments were added as the years went on... but piano was, and is, my first love.

There was a multi-decade gap for very complicated reasons, but two years ago, I bought a new piano and again started weekly lessons. The feeling for me is like meeting a long-lost love many decades later, and finding out that you still love each other..... and filling the hours with trying to regain what was lost over the decades.

There are just few things that can compete emotionally with making your own music.
"Music, rich, full of feeling, not soulless, is like a crystal on which the sun falls and brings forth from it a whole rainbow" - F. Chopin

"My toy was my piano" -Alicia de Larrocha
"Just waiting until I can retire from my day job so my piano can be my toy"- dogperson

#2558571 - 07/25/16 09:19 AM Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? [Re: dogperson]
newbert Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/02/13
Posts: 1115
Loc: Upstate New York, USA
When I was a child, my mother played piano. I don't recall exactly how I got interested myself, but I turned out to be the only one of the 3 children to end up taking piano lessons. They lasted for about 3 years, and as I got older I got interested in other things since I was only learning music that others picked out for me (classical mostly). While playing piano faded away, my thoughts about it never really did. While most people tapped their foot to the beat of song from the radio, I often played "air-piano" with my fingers playing the melody.

Fast-forward about 50 years, and I finally had free time to myself after I retired. I already had a small MIDI keyboard that I messed around with, but decided to get more serious, so I bought a Yamaha DGX640 keyboard and got started trying to recover whatever skills I had as a child. While at first I found it frustrating, it eventually became a relaxing endeavor. I've since upgraded to a better digital piano and now to an acoustic upright. I now play only music that I want to play. While I play for myself, it would be nice for friends or family to ask me to play something for them once in awhile - but it never happens. frown I'd love to reach the point where I could occasionally play at senior centers, nursing homes, etc.

I have no one to share my interest in piano, so I'm very happy to have found Piano World.

I feel that I've reached a plateau in my abilities, and would really like to learn to play creatively from a lead sheet, so I'm once again considering taking lessons. However, I don't want lessons to create pressure to remove the relaxation I'm experiencing now, so it's a tough decision.

So, in a nutshell - playing piano is both relaxation and a mental challenge for me. As we get older and less physically active, we need something to keep our minds and free time occupied. Playing the piano fills those needs nicely as well as provides a form of expression.

#2558577 - 07/25/16 09:45 AM Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? [Re: Piano World]
Tonedeef Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/14/15
Posts: 62
I tried it on a bit of impulse in my nephews conservatory waiting for a taxi to arrive as 4 of us were going out for my 50th birthday in November last year. I bought one 2 days later and have never left it alone ever since. There is then still a possibility I suppose that I am still in 'honeymoon phase' and still a bit giddy by the wonder of it all. I very much doubt this though. To be perfectly honest I would rather play than eat. So in answer to your question why do I play piano? My answer is not meant to be cute or clever it is a mere question of my own which is: How could I not? The question that really annoys the heck out me is why on earth did I leave it so long to get started? I have wasted all of my misspent youth drinking , chasing women and generally being a bit of a delinquent.

#2558578 - 07/25/16 09:58 AM Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? [Re: Piano World]
ShiroKuro Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/04
Posts: 3985
Loc: not in Japan anymore
Why do I play the piano? That question is much harder to answer than it should be. I play the piano because I can't imagine not playing the piano.

I had always wanted to play the piano, but never had as a child. I had played clarinet and classical folk and rock guitar at various points up through my early 20s. I never got far with the guitar and generally started and stopped all the time. One day, a friend of a friend, upon hearing of my life-long interest in piano, decided to lend me her very high quality Yamaha (weighted keys etc) stage piano. What a gift that was. I was 30 years old. I taught myself how to read bass clef, poked my way through some easy score books and I was hooked. After struggling with classical guitar music, the piano seemed so easy (little did I know!)

In a few months, I bought my own piano (a digital) and started lessons. A year later I upgraded to an acoustic, which I had for 9 years (until we returned to the states, oddly, you can't take an acoustic piano on an airplane as a carry-on...)

I have played almost continuously since starting, except for one 6-month period right after we returned to the states when I didn't have a piano. That period erased all doubt (if I ever had any) that I would always play the piano, that the piano would always be a part of my life. I got my second digital after that, and now, after 7 years of digital-only, I have an acoustic again. Having two pianos in the house (as humble as they are) makes me feel like the luckiest person the planet, a feeling of joy I would have never expected.

I play the piano because I love to play, and I love piano music. And somehow, inexplicably, I think the piano loves me in return.
Started piano June 1999. My recordings at Box.Net:

#2558590 - 07/25/16 10:52 AM Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? [Re: Piano World]
Peyton Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 2849
Loc: Maine
It's one of the truest ways I can express myself.
"One's real life is often the life that one does not lead."- Oscar Wilde

#2558597 - 07/25/16 11:17 AM Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? [Re: Michael Taylor]
Lee Ann Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/17/16
Posts: 27
Loc: Central Florida
Originally Posted By Michael Taylor

I play because I find it relaxing. I only play for myself, no audience....I tend to choke. I'm really not that good, but I enjoy it anyway.

I can barely play in front of anyone too....and if I do, I mess up constantly because I'm so self conscious. But don't say you are not that good....(I am trying to tell myself to stop this too), because all of us are at different levels, but that doesn't make you not good. smile

#2558599 - 07/25/16 11:40 AM Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? [Re: Piano World]
Farmerjones Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/25/12
Posts: 494
Loc: Midwest USA
Purely curiosity. I certainly took the long way around. I've played banjer and guitar most of my adult life. 2003 (@40)I took up violin/fiddle. Mandolin a few weeks later, and learned them concurrently. 2013 (@50) I investigated piano. There was enough musical ground work laid prior, to where piano fit easily. It's nice to have the many voices to choose from. But more than that, it has confirmed how I learn is right for myself.
view my profile for a link to my YT page.

#2558600 - 07/25/16 11:41 AM Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? [Re: Piano World]
Bsw Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/16/14
Posts: 199
Loc: Florida, United States
Why do I play piano? As a child I had friends who played piano and was fascinated. We did not have the finances needed to purchase a piano or pay for lessons. So I took clarinet through high school. Many many years later a friend got a used piano off of crags list and started lessons. Got me thinking, am I too old? But why not give it a try. Not trusting craigs list(heard some horror stories) I went to a local piano store and purchased an upright. Had a bad experience with a teacher and found a new one.

So why do I play, badly? Because it brings me so much pleasure. So enjoyable to hear a piece come together. I will probably never go beyond beginner, but I hear the songs inside me and it makes me happy!

Thanks for the question and making me think about it.
Started October 2014
Faber & Faber 3
Faber & Faber 2B completed
Alfred's Adult All-In-One

#2558607 - 07/25/16 12:30 PM Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? [Re: Piano World]
dynamobt Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/07/13
Posts: 966
Loc: NH
Neither of my parents were musical at all. Yet, they were determined that we kids play the piano. My sister, three years older than me, started first. It was assumed that I would start lessons when I was 5. I hated practicing. Never really played well as a kid. Dropped it after High School. Yet years later, I started learning pieces on my own. I discovered I did love the instrument! I was an avid listener of classical music. The more I heard, the more I wanted to play. I really didn't restart lessons until I was 50. I was pushed too hard and dropped it again. Now, with my present teacher, I am enjoying lessons and playing more than I ever have my entire life. I can't imagine not having piano in my life.
1918 Mason & Hamlin BB

#2558615 - 07/25/16 01:04 PM Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? [Re: dynamobt]
peterws Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/21/12
Posts: 6098
Loc: Northern England.
My parents thought I might be a prodigy because I played tunes both hands when I was 4, without a teacher, or music.

They were wrong. First few lessons with a respected local teacher and that was it. Too young. . .it involved a bus trip, by myself. At 4. . .haha

Hated subsequent lessons, years later. And when my old teacher died. . .Ill not go there. . .but I had learned music. Might not have liked it muvh, but " Forgotten Dreams" will inspire nobody with red blood in their veins.

I have made money playing, many did years ago. But it was and is, still fun!

Edited by peterws (07/25/16 01:05 PM)
"I am not a man. I am a free number"


#2558630 - 07/25/16 01:56 PM Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? [Re: Piano World]
hreichgott Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/11/13
Posts: 3102
Loc: western MA, USA
Can't not, so found a way to make a life doing it!
Heather W. Reichgott, piano http://heatherwreichgott.blogspot.com

Working on:
Beethoven, Diabelli Variations
Barber, Souvenirs
Mozart, Magic Flute (piano/celesta part)
Stravinsky, Symphony of Psalms, arranging accompaniment for four hands

I love Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven and new music

#2558642 - 07/25/16 03:23 PM Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? [Re: Piano World]
RaggedKeyPresser Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/14
Posts: 847
Loc: Orig. land of Svear&Götar
I still can't play it, but I made a commitment to keep on trying.
Working through Czerny's first baby beginning steps for classical piano.
Hoping to graduate well within two years of study. Now at #72 of Opus 599 and behind schedule.

#2558667 - 07/25/16 05:20 PM Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? [Re: Piano World]
Bosendorff Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/11/12
Posts: 733
I play music and piano simply because it is vital for me.

I really like to revive the thoughts/feelings of the great composers and (if not playing alone) transmit their music to others. Sometimes, playing helps me forget about bad stuff but it can also be to celebrate the present moment. It's also fun to play any style, experiment/improvise, use other keyboard instruments, tuning and regulate my own piano and when unable to play reading about composers, instruments, etc.

Dampp Chaser electronic controller

#2558674 - 07/25/16 05:48 PM Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? [Re: Piano World]
Goof Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/05/12
Posts: 407
Loc: UK
After WW 2, when my Dad went back to being a school head in Rhodesia ( remember it ), he found an old piano for sale and I started lessons aged ten, my teacher had a charming daughter! My mother could play and encouraged me. I carried on-and-off with lessons untill aged sixteen, then I and my friends still kept on playing - hits like Buttons and Bows, and Nola.
When I had my two children I made certain they had lessons, unfortunately they only told me when grown up that their lady teacher used a ruler to smack their knuckles ! They do have pianos but I gather they and their children seldom play.

However one daughter has daughter who is a professional ballerina - music never really left !
Now at eighty I like the challenge of learning a new piece (e.g. an easy Mozart ) and relearning old pieces - amazing how one never really forgets.
Unfortunately being mechanically minded I'm inclined to spend too much time with my piano in pieces !

#2558686 - 07/25/16 06:51 PM Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? [Re: Piano World]
JohnSprung Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/02/11
Posts: 3986
Loc: Reseda, California

I always try to understand the inner workings of everything I like or need. I think it may have started in the 1960's with the Idiot Guide VW book. I was rebuilding my own engines. I do the same with houses, carpentry, plumbing, electrical, etc. Back in the DOS days, I wrote assembly language on the PC.

Since I've always loved the popular music of the first half of the 20th century, the obvious thing to do beyond listening of course is to play it.

Playing keyboards is a great way to get much deeper into the music. Mere listening doesn't nearly use your full brain capacity. But playing takes all of mine and much more..... ;-)
-- J.S.

Knabe Grand # 10927
Yamaha CP33
Kawai FS690

#2558691 - 07/25/16 07:08 PM Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? [Re: Piano World]
ChatNoir Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/19/05
Posts: 1577
Loc: Encino, California
I grew up on a little island off the west coast of Norway. We had no electric power, no cars, and, of course, no television. Just a battery radio that was reserved for the weather forecast and the news. But in the living room was an old piano that my mother, and sometimes my father, would play. Neither of them were accomplished musicians, but the sound of piano music in the house was always welcome, and I learned to sing many an old operetta song in German long before I actually learned the language. During the summertime, my aunt from the city would visit, and she was an accomplished player and entertained us with Chopin, Beethoven, Schubert et al.
At age 11, my mother decided that she would teach me how to play after struggling to teach my sister with no success. I loved it from day one, but hated being told what to do and how to do it from my mother. She left me alone and only came to my rescue when I was absolutely stuck. For two years I hammered on the old Brödrene Hals piano, and then I had to leave home to attend high school. From now on, practicing was limited to the weekends when I was home. After two years, I had to go even farther away for senior high school, and practicing became even more sporadic. There was an old piano in the school building, but it was not much fun sitting there all alone at night struggling through pieces that were much to difficult for my fingers.
After school, I started my career in the hospitality industry, and it was not until I was 28 years of age and moved to California that I got my own house with my own piano. From now on I would practice every day, something I still do. I cannot imagine a day without sitting down to the keyboard of my lovely Estonia and play something. It is my dearest hobby next to gardening, and I am sure the grand old masters forgive me for hacking through their beautiful pieces and hitting enough wrong notes to write a whole concerto. The main thing is that I enjoy it tremendously.

Edited by ChatNoir (07/25/16 07:09 PM)
Some men are music lovers. Others make love without it.

#2558694 - 07/25/16 07:25 PM Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? [Re: Piano World]
Music Me Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/23/12
Posts: 372
Loc: PA
Why do I play the Piano?
When I play the piano the world is perfect. I feel loved and am loved unconditionally - even when I make mistakes. My mind, heart, soul, ears and hands are in alignment. Nothing hurts, no one can hurt me. It is everything I am and means everything to me.

I have been musical since I heard "I want to hold your hand" in the first grade. I knew I would be a musician. At the age of ten, I got an electric guitar for Christmas, my twin sister got the Emenee Electric Piano Organ - ironically, years later, she is the guitar player (singer songwriter Lili Anel) and I'm the piano player. When I was a freshman in High School, my Grandmother was who helped me decide to study music. She gave my mother her bank pass book and told her to buy me a steinway. She wanted me to have the best. On the day she did this, we had a fire. My grandmother passed from smoke inhalation. My mother didn't tell me any of this until almost nine months later, after we relocated and she bought me a Baldwin upright with some of the insurance money. I feel I honor her every time I sit and play. My mother also played the piano and was classically trained. She knew what it meant to me.

I went on to study music. I was 15 years old when I started to formally study piano. To say I loved it is not
enough. I progressed very quickly. I went on to get my Bachelor's degree in Music with Piano. My wildest dream was to score films. I did it once and actually got paid for it. I performed professionally with my sister for many years.

I am nine months from retiring from my career in Law Enforcement. I will be relocating to the area of Rehoboth Beach in Delaware. My beautiful incredibly sounding Cunningham Parlour Grand will be moved to my home after it is built. Along with my Yamaha NU1, which has given me much joy and satisfaction.

I am infinitely grateful for having studied (and still do) and loved the piano. Unlike the human ones, this romance will last forever.
...without music, no life...

#2558701 - 07/25/16 07:57 PM Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? [Re: Piano World]
bennevis Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 8993
Why do I play the piano? Because it's there (as Mallory would say), and I can (or, I think I can, which amounts to the same thing wink ).

But as to how I came to play the piano at all, it was an accident of fate, like so many good things that's happened in my life. My uncle was musical, his children all played, and my non-musical parents couldn't bear to be left behind pianoless, so that's how a cheap little upright arrived in the family home, and us kids (my brother and I, later my two sisters) were started on lessons with a young teacher who'd never taught anyone before.

As to why I kept at it through thick & thin while my siblings all dropped out, it was partly because I never cared to follow the crowd. My first teacher (the one who'd never taught before) had imbued me with a love of classical music, and it didn't bother me that I knew no-one else who did. My school friends could listen to Deep Purple (or whatever deep color), and play their air guitars; I'd listen to Beethoven symphonies, and play Mozart on a real piano instead grin. I must seemed like an unusual kid to others, but when I was sent halfway around the world to continue my high school education, I found kindred spirits, and my piano playing went from strength to strength (or as much strength as my total lack of musical talent would allow).

Love of music and the 'classical' piano repertoire got me to a reasonable skill set (because practicing was enjoyable & fun, and I loved discovering new pieces, so I spent most of my free time on the piano), but it was never going to be a career. Vissi d'arte might be fine for Floria, but reality kicked in for me early on - not least because there were plenty of talented students around, some of whom gave school concerts, which I never could do - so I settled for a 'proper job' and kept my piano playing as a hobby.

Latterly, I've been playing regularly in public, and my proselytizing efforts on behalf of classical music and the piano have gathered fruit. In my twilight years, I've found a way to repay my first teacher, who started me on this amazing path all those years ago......
"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."

#2558716 - 07/25/16 09:18 PM Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? [Re: Piano World]
pianoMom2006 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/07/15
Posts: 341
Bennevis- Love your last post. So nice and inspiring.
Yamaha G2

#2558741 - 07/25/16 11:49 PM Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? [Re: Music Me]
Ralphiano Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/05/15
Posts: 629
Originally Posted By Music Me
At the age of ten, I got an electric guitar for Christmas, my twin sister got the Emenee Electric Piano Organ

Lovely story, and a nice memory for me! Do you remember the Emenee jingle?

"Jumpin' Jimminy, it's by Emenee!"

I hadn't thought of that one in years. smile

Casio Privia PX-760
Pianoteq Stage
Pianist since April, 2015

#2558752 - 07/26/16 01:49 AM Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? [Re: Piano World]
AstroEd Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/25/16
Posts: 9
At this time I do not know how to play and at 51 years old I hope I am not too old to learn to play well enough for my own enjoyment, I have no asperations to join a band or have a concert just love music and wish to try to make some. I just bought a Yamaha Clavinova CVP-709 in the hopes it will help me reduce stress and deal with my PTSD.

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