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Why Do You Play The Piano?

Posted By: Piano World

Why Do You Play The Piano? - 07/25/16 04:43 AM

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 ...
Age
Employment
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...



Posted By: Michael Taylor

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 07/25/16 04:55 AM

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.
Posted By: Groove On

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 07/25/16 06:28 AM

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.
Posted By: drewr

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 07/25/16 06:42 AM

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.







Posted By: PhilipInChina

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 07/25/16 07:41 AM

What else would I do with it?
Posted By: MacMacMac

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 07/25/16 10:26 AM

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.
Posted By: Pianoperformance

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 07/25/16 11:05 AM

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!
Posted By: guyl

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 07/25/16 11:28 AM

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.
Posted By: bSharp(C)yclist

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 07/25/16 11:41 AM

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!
Posted By: dogperson

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 07/25/16 12:41 PM

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.

Posted By: newbert

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 07/25/16 01:19 PM

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.
Posted By: Tonedeef

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 07/25/16 01:45 PM

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.
Posted By: ShiroKuro

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 07/25/16 01:58 PM

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.
Posted By: Peyton

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 07/25/16 02:52 PM

It's one of the truest ways I can express myself.
Posted By: Lee Ann

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 07/25/16 03:17 PM

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
Posted By: Farmerjones

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 07/25/16 03:40 PM

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.
Posted By: Bsw

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 07/25/16 03:41 PM

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.
Posted By: dynamobt

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 07/25/16 04:30 PM

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.
Posted By: peterws

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 07/25/16 05:04 PM

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!

Posted By: hreichgott

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 07/25/16 05:56 PM

Can't not, so found a way to make a life doing it!
Posted By: RaggedKeyPresser

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 07/25/16 07:23 PM

I still can't play it, but I made a commitment to keep on trying.
Posted By: Bosendorff

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 07/25/16 09:20 PM

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.
Posted By: Goof

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 07/25/16 09:48 PM

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 !
Posted By: JohnSprung

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 07/25/16 10:51 PM


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..... ;-)


Posted By: ChatNoir

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 07/25/16 11:08 PM

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.
Posted By: Music Me

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 07/25/16 11:25 PM

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.
Posted By: bennevis

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 07/25/16 11:57 PM

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......
Posted By: pianoMom2006

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 07/26/16 01:18 AM

Bennevis- Love your last post. So nice and inspiring.
Posted By: Ralphiano

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 07/26/16 03:49 AM

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
Posted By: AstroEd

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 07/26/16 05:49 AM

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.
Posted By: SwissMS

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 07/26/16 08:46 AM

Music has always been in my life, albeit in different forms. My mother told me that when she was pregnant with me, she would lie on the bed and play classical music, so that I would be able to listen to beautiful music. I have loved music my whole life.

As a small child, I thought all adults knew how to play piano, My uncles played, my Mom played a little, and my grandparents played. They mostly played by ear, so I assumed it was a natural skill.

I took ballet lessons as a child, and enjoyed dance as well. Then something special happened. We bought a piano. I still remember when my Mom had an old "upright grand" delivered when I was eight years old. I loved that piano and spent hours at it. I had a teacher that gave me a good start on piano, though she was a very scary, authoritarian with a ruler! Still, I loved piano and tried to do my best. Then, my family moved to a small town without a piano teacher. I continued to play everyday until I went to college, but I no longer had any guidance. When I was in college, I remember standing outside the practice rooms at UMC, wishing I could go in and play!

Life intervened for 30 years. I got married, had a career, but I never forgot my love of piano. Another passion in my life led me back to it. I owned horses growing up, and as an adult I rode and showed dressage horses. I began doing my own choreography for freestyle, which is dressage routines set to music. It was a perfect melding of my love of dance, music, and horses. My husband suggested I relearn piano, and do my own music for the dance. So we purchased a keyboard and I rediscovered piano. Six months later I purchased a M&H BB, and started lessons. I practiced every available minute.

In 2005 I developed MS, and could no longer ride horses. The piano became therapy for me. I had severe tremors and in my legs and hands, and playing piano retrained my neural pathways, eliminating the tremors in my hands. Piano has become my sanctuary and my therapist. I no longer believe that I have any limitations that I cannot overcome. It soothes the body and soul, and brightens my spirits everyday. It gives me continuous goals to work toward, and self assurance. It has brought me friends who share my passion for piano, both live and virtual (PianoWorld). At this point in my life, I cannot imagine not playing piano!

Posted By: earlofmar

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 07/26/16 10:12 AM

A couple of things always intrigued me about pianists, first how they could play with two hands each doing something different and not even watching what they were doing, were they wired differently to me? The second was most of them seemed to sight read which seemed like some sort of dark art passed down from master to student.

I decided nearly four years ago to buy a digital piano to find out what it was all about. It made perfect sense as I was nearing retirement and knew I would have to substitute a work addiction for something different. I had pottered about with acoustic guitars since my youth, just as a relaxation, but I decided a complete restart of my musical education following a traditional method was how I should proceed. Incidentally when I first started I could not bear to listen to classical solo pianists and I thought Chopin was overrated. Last year while in Paris for a couple of days the only thing I wanted to do was visit his grave and museum, how things have changed. In the few years since starting I have found out the hardship of trying to learn an instrument to a high degree can be, but every day is a joy in exploration that is most fulfilling.
Posted By: Sand Tiger

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 07/26/16 02:11 PM

I play because it brings me joy. Some on the forum have cats. Many cats like to be scratched on the head, or under the chin. The cat will often close its eyes and purr in contentment. Its like that with piano, when I get it just so, even at my still beginner level.

I got started by tinkering with a tablet app, where a person presses the screen to sound notes. I enjoyed that so much, I decided to upgrade to a 61-key Yamaha NP11. Another year or so, and I got a Casio PX150.

I thought I would be terrible at piano. I have tinnitus, chronic hand problems, difficulty with rhythm and harmony. Unlike most reporting on this thread, I grew up in a home with minimal exposure to music, and it shows.

I haven't traveled very far in my four year piano journey. I tell people that I poke away at it. There are limits as to what I can do, or even attempt. Still, I have my moments, whether it be finding a good phrase while composing or performing on stage on a grand piano, there are moments that approach magic.

I find that piano tends to be a less soulful, less expressive instrument than wind instruments. Or perhaps a person needs ten or more years and/or a degree level of mastery to get to the expressive level. The trade off is complexity. A good pianist can add layers and layers that melody only instruments can only attempt with an ensemble.

Posted By: Jeff Clef

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 07/26/16 03:59 PM

Why does the bug bite anyone? The short answer is that I play because I can't help myself. I need it. Go figure. I loved the piano since I first saw one, as a young child... and here we are, a lifetime later.
Posted By: Piano World

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 07/26/16 04:05 PM

Originally Posted by Jeff Clef
Why does the bug bite anyone? The short answer is that I play because I can't help myself. I need it. Go figure. I loved the piano since I first saw one, as a young child... and here we are, a lifetime later.


Well said Jeff, that would pretty much sum my reasons up too.

I'm just one of those people who can use twenty words to say what could have been said in four :-)

- Frank B.
Piano World
Posted By: Jim DK

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 07/26/16 05:01 PM

I began piano lessons at age six and abandoned it at age 13 or 14 having achieved only modest success. I took lessons during one summer school in college at age 30. Now at age 73, I'm in the middle of Alfred's Basic Adult Piano Course. There is some serious void time here!

I think of all the wasted years during which I might have developed a decent repertoire for my own pleasure and possibly others. Now I'm sensing a state of urgency to realize my dream of mastering some of Chopin's easier pieces, a couple of Scott Joplin's ragtimes, and some popular stuff as well.

I'm very thankful for my early opportunity to experience the piano. It benefits me to this day. Playing my piano provides a way to keep my mind engaged, to be constructive, and of course I love the sounds that can emanate from a good piano.
Posted By: Qazsedcft

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 07/26/16 05:15 PM

The better question is why didn't I play the piano for so long before taking it up?
Posted By: Music Me

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 07/26/16 07:17 PM

Astro Ed-

Go for it! Jump in head first! You are the best person you can play for.
Posted By: chamberbell

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 07/26/16 09:58 PM

On a social level, I love when parties gather around a piano, especially around Christmas. Such a pure form of entertainment, but I only know one person who can play and it's a friend of a friend.

On a personal level, I just love music. With the piano, you can create beautiful music will all the intricacies and layers that would normally require several musicians of relatively equal skill. That gets hard to find as you get older for those of outside of music professions. Adding musicians along with a piano? Now that's magic; layers upon layers of cool stuff happening.

But mostly cause I've always wanted to play (but for the above reasons). It just took me a while to get the courage to learn.
Posted By: Cassia

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 07/27/16 04:13 AM

From my earliest memories, I've always wanted to play the piano, but I didn't get the chance until I was 7 and we got our first piano. I immediately asked for lessons, but for reasons they've never explained, my parents said no. But that couldn't stop me - I knew in my heart I was a pianist - and so I pulled out some of my mom's old books, taught myself to read music, and learned the first part of Für Elise. At about that point, my grandmother took pity on me and signed me up for lessons. My parents never really did understand my passion and so were never very supportive. They paid for lessons and drove me to recitals, festivals, and competitions, but they never really encouraged me. There was actually a period when my mom actively discouraged me from playing. But it didn't matter, I never gave it up. I couldn't have. Playing the piano is a very large part of who I am. If I gave it up, I would die a figurative death. I play because I'm a pianist.
Posted By: Celdor

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 07/27/16 11:56 AM

My story.
I used to attend a public music school in my little town just for 2 years. I learned an instrument which I did not enjoy at all, my dad did. Eventually, I stopped attending the school and though I was supposed to have a piano lesson a week I did not used that opportunity. I must say the piano teacher was great but my main instrument teacher was rather anti-pedagogical. So I eventually gave up and stopped the school for good and had no intention to touch anything related to music.

A couple of years later I tried guitar but also eventually stopped. It wasn't for me I guess.

Three years before in November I begun piano lessons. Before, I lived with this idea, though. I was thinking about piano since I had seen Adrian Brody in Pianists. His performance was definitely the moment when my desire to piano started! It took me a couple of years to make final realisation but The Pianist was the main trigger. I also enjoyed Steve Wonder's music and his dedication to music and piano which is still phenomenal. Then, I came across Arthur Rubinstein, Chopin and that how I was hooked :p

I practice every day almost the same routine but only recently have issues because of my work which becomes quite daunting and it unfortunately affects my determination, discipline and eventually my progress. I still try to maintain the routine for exercises and pieces.
Posted By: happyhacker

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 07/27/16 01:31 PM

I am retired. Had lessons when 10yrs but gave up as couldn't afford any more. Regret that. Now I find learning therapeutic. I believe it puts more power to my brain and physical skills offsetting old age creeping up. I think I will be a good player at 120yrs so maybe entertain the youngsters in my care home. Seriously, I like Jazz so am learning via that route. Heavily into theory and practice falling behind a bit. Do about 2 hours a day. Cheers.
Posted By: blackjack1777

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 07/27/16 05:58 PM

Playing the piano feels like a secret garden for me. When I play the piano I enter a world that is unburdened by worry or pressure. My time at the piano seems to exist separately from the world around me. In some ways it is an escape and something only for me.
Posted By: Lee Ann

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 07/28/16 02:54 AM

My mother remarried a man with a daughter my age, and a piano, and I was in love with it at first sight. I was 10. We both had lessons, she hated them, I loved them and played constantly. A year later, my mother was a single mom, again. The piano was not ours. She did not have a lot of money, but she found a way to buy me an old 1940's Gulbransen upright piano, for $500......which I think was a lot for the time in 1981. And she found me a piano teacher. I played so much that I had the piano moved into my bedroom so I could play as much as I wanted, which was all the time.

It helped get me through middle school, which was the worst years of my life. I was a pretty poor kid that went to school with a bunch of rich and really mean kids, and my music helped me get through it. Same through high school, I played from the moment I got home from school until bedtime.

Then I didn't play for more than a decade, until recently I sat down to play again, and seem to have gotten back that feeling that I have to have this in my life. I am just now going through the "empty nest syndrome", having sent my youngest daughter off to college, and once again, this is helping me get through it all.

AND I am a crazy cat lady, whose two greatest things in life (besides my family of course) is cats and music....and the cats love the piano! They all completely mellow out, and I love seeing how it effects them too.
Posted By: Rich D.

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 07/28/16 05:02 PM

A piano is good company to have around.

Rich
Posted By: Blues beater

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 07/29/16 12:20 AM

Because I got classical lessons as a kid I learned fingering and a little bit about chords. But in the late 50s, early 60s, as an adolescent, nighttime in the winter brought in AM radio stations from hundreds of miles away and I immediately bonded with hillbilly music and blues. I knew I had to teach myself to play these. Still learning at age 70.

Don in Austin
Posted By: MossySF

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 07/29/16 02:00 AM

I played the bass in the school orchestra when I was young and I thought I was pretty good. I could sight read like a madman ... even automatically translate my skills to the cello and violin. But a bass is a pretty damn big instrument to be lugging around ... or to own at home and I soon stopped playing. (My sister played violin and had her own starter violin for a hundred bucks.)

Now that my kids are taking piano, I've been learning at the same time. To be honest, I don't feel like being an adult has slowed down my music learning. Even after 3 years, I can pick up all their assigned pieces in half the time it takes them. Maybe the adult learning thing is mostly psychological ... or it's that we don't have parents forcing us to play 1-2 hours a day.
Posted By: outo

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 07/29/16 04:29 AM

Why do I play the piano? I started on a whim, then got obsessed on getting better because I am fascinated with piano music and the tone that a piano can produce in capable hands. Now after 5 years of weekly lessons and daily practice I have invested so much into it that it would be silly to quit smile

And I do enjoy working out the challenges and practicing. It is often stressfull to keep up, but I tend to function best when challenged.
Posted By: Rerun

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 07/29/16 03:41 PM


Well, one has to do something to have fun when about the only thing you can do with sports at my age is throw footballs with the grand kids.

For me playing piano is not unlike solving puzzles, only instead of a cryptoquote and a pen, it's a tune and the ears and keyboard. Piano playing isn't a sport yet grin, but still fun stuff.
Posted By: iObsessed

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 07/29/16 09:47 PM

I'm kind of late to this thread (not really lol), but I play because it challenges me. Every time I sit down to play, it is always a quest to find perfection in my pieces. In addition, it is something I can let out my emotions on.

I started piano when I was close to four years old (beginning in 2001, if I even remember that far back and if this is even close to accurate). I have always displayed a penchant for music, as my parents will attest when I was still in my mother's womb. My maternal grandmother had a piano and wanted me to play because of its supposed benefits. At that time (circa 1999-2000), I don't even think the Lang Lang effect was that full-blown, but China was into Western instruments at that time. So, I guess this became natural to me.
Posted By: gwood

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 07/30/16 01:06 AM

i play piano because i love music and i love the sound of piano and the endless variety of music available for piano. plus i also play to keep my mind / brain active ('m getting older) and hand eye coordination.

background: we had a piano when i was growing up. my sister took lessons. i was curious about piano and played around bit and my sister taught me a few simple songs (chopsticks anyone?). i still remember some of her books and even have some of them (john thompson, arron shearer?). however, i could note read music and even at that early age realized the necessity to learn to read.

i also picked up guitar and that was my primary interest; keep in mind this was about at the time the Beatles came out so that diverted my attention from piano.

so, when i reached Jr high school, i joined the band (clarinet, drums, bass guitar in the jazz band). was in the band through jr high, high school and a year of so of college (started as a music major but got my degree i accounting info systems). i did take about 6 - 7 months of piano lessons in high school; it was helpful.

after i dropped the music major, what music did play was with the guitar. i still have several nice guitars and play some but not as much as i did back in the day.

around 1998 - 1999, had some in-laws visiting from Africa and he wanted to visit some music stores here in the U.S. at the time he had a church in Zimbabwe and was looking for the ideas on price of musical instruments. so i took him to guitar center; while there for some unknown reason i decided right then and there i was going to learn to play piano.

i started shopping around for a piano at the various piano stores around town and ended up with a young change upright. it was ok. i took lessons from a (very old) lady at the music store. but only took about 3 - 4 months as the teacher would just assign a piece then smile and give me a gold star the following week. not much feedback or instruction. i then traded the upright in for a Petrof IV grand which was great. took lessons off and on over the next several years with a fairly good teacher as well as self study.

last time i took lessons was about 4 - 5 years ago from a very very strict russion lady. i just couldn't handle the constant corrections with every little thing i did. i think i didn't touch piano for about two years after than. i just have some sort of mental block about taking lessons; it just seems to sap all the fun out of playing. but i am hoping with all the past lessons, i have eliminated the most blatant bad habits and i do try to be conscious of what i am doing.

now i am hot and heavy into playing and play several hours a day and loving it.

gw











Posted By: cphollis

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 08/06/16 02:51 AM

OK, deeply personal post smile

When I was 3 years old, I am told I begged my parents for a piano. The bought me a toy piano for Christmas, and I cried because I wanted a real piano.

Fast forward to the college years. I wanted to make a career playing keyboards, but my Dad said "nice hobby, but not a living". He was right.

Fast forward to later in life. I play in two bands, and I'm having a blast. The career thing has worked out well, so music isn't about the money for me.

When I play, it's like an alternate universe. It's like great sex, but it's in a group setting.

I believe that we all owe ourselves the opportunity to express ourselves as creative human beings.

That's why I play.
Posted By: f3r

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 08/06/16 11:47 AM

Because I like it! laugh

There's more to it but that would end up with me writing about my whole life...
Posted By: sheffsteel

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 08/07/16 01:01 AM

When I was a boy in the late 70's ans early 80's there was a large piano shop in town and I was absolutely fascinated by the organ keyboards with different coloured buttons for trumpet, violin, guitar etc. I was totally gobsmacked that one instrument could create the sounds of so many other instruments.

Then further into the 80's I was fascinated by the weird and interesting sounds that synthesisers could produce. So my first love was keyboards rather than piano as I've always been a technology addict.

However over the past few decades my favourite instruments are piano and strings, hence why I love many Craig Armstrong tracks.

I'm mainly a keyboard player and always thougt piano was too time consuming to learn. However it's always been my lifestime ambition to reach at least intermediate pianist standard before I leave this earth.

I'm now 50, the kids are grown up and have left home. So I have much more available time and more patience as I've become older.

So I've taken on the challenge to enjoy my later years fulfilling a lifetime ambition as I'm always been a massive music lover. Digital pianos are the most versatile instrument on the planet and as technology improves they will also become more fun with the power to run a music studio in your own home.

So my interest is centrered towards digital pianos rather than acoustic pianos.
Posted By: WimPiano

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 08/07/16 03:45 PM

I love music and even more so do I love piano music.. Making music adds to that and, I know that I'm lucky, playing together with my wife (4 hands) is just amazing laugh
Posted By: Latetothepiano

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 08/10/16 11:49 PM

I always loved piano. I loved the sound of it anywhere and in any type of music. I just wanted to play so at 57 I started. At 61, now retired, with 5 years of weekly lessons and daily practice, I am doing okay. I play because I love it and I was ignorant of classical music and now love that too. I am like a kid in a candy shop. Why do those composers endure and provide so much to so many of us hundreds of years later? I hate leaving my piano. I can't wait to get back to it when I leave home for vacation or to visit friends. I finish a lessons and can't wait to get back to my piano and practice. (I started with digitals and now have a Yamaha U1. Bright like a bell and probably not the piano I would choose today but I embrace it and love it for what it is. I am really grooving those hammers though!)
I have a wonderful teacher who is encouraging, talented, performs regularly herself and who I just love for giving me so much. (personally don't know how anyone that is learning can play without a teacher. I would do so many more things wrong without her!)

I do want to learn how to get away from the page though. I like the idea of both reading and improvising. I am not sure if I can do both, but will try.

I play because piano has taught me so much: patience, humility, acceptance, love of classical music, etc. In terms of skill, I am just wherever I am and that if fine with me. I am so grateful. For my piano. I am so grateful. To learn to play piano. I am so grateful. To play piano.
Posted By: Music Me

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 08/11/16 01:26 AM

Late to the Piano-

I just love your post. It is what it is all about. I feel the same love and gratitude for my piano and for playing.

It is all that matters.
Posted By: sinophilia

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 08/11/16 06:32 AM

I didn't grow up in a musical family and I've never been into music much, even at a young age. I was a very cerebral kind of child, always with some book in my hands, and I've always thought of myself as brain only, absolutely inept at anything involving movement and coordination. The thing is, I never liked to do things that I wasn't already good at, so I stuck with the few things that came naturally to me, without too much effort, not because of laziness, but because I simply couldn't stand to show my weaknesses in front of others (as if others would care). The only physical activity I enjoyed was horse riding, but I gave that up soon after a particularly bad fall and a broken arm. Nonetheless, deep down I'd always envied artistic, creative people, and those who could express themselves without fear, through dance, singing, playing an instrument, drawing, anything that involved mind-body connection.

I started dabbling at the piano at 36, when my wife got a keyboard just because she had always wanted one. I happen to be rather stubborn and self-disciplined, so four years later I'm still sitting at a piano (almost) every day. I think it's good for my brain, in spite of the frustration, and good for the body. It's the ultimate coordination, attentiveness, concentration activity. Even better than meditation, I think. When I practice I can't think of anything else, I have to be 100% there, there is no job, no responsibilities, nothing but the music. So I'm sticking with it even if it doesn't come easy to me, and my perfectionist self ends up beaten up and bruised.

I don't think I will ever be a "musician", but I'm pretty happy with where I got, and now I know that what I want to do in the future is play with other people, and accompany singers and soloists, even if only at amateur level, and even if it's scary and challenging to put myself out there. I still approach the piano as study at all times, something requiring hard work and rote learning, so I'm not really "expressing myself" through music yet, even if I have strong opinions on what I like and dislike. But hopefully that will come too, sooner or later.
Posted By: 8 Octaves

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 08/11/16 11:19 PM

If I knew why I play the piano, I would also know why not; until then I shall keep playing.
Posted By: LarryShone

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 08/12/16 01:28 PM

Keyboards have always been part of my life as a kid , I had various keyboards through my teenage years but inside I always wanted to play piano. Skip forward to the present and I have a (very good) digital piano. A dream come true. Now I don't play particularly well, being undiscplined and I can't read music, and I don't get a lot of time to practice. But its an instrument I can always come back to. Its unlike any other instrument I've played. If I stop playing guitar or ukulele or recorder for a period of time, then pick it up again I often find I've forgotten the chords or fingerings. But not so with a piano. I can go 6 months of not playing, open the lid and out comes a tune. I guess its the instrument for me, the one I'm most comfortable with. And it never fails to make me smile
Posted By: cathryn999

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 08/12/16 03:19 PM

Originally Posted by blackjack1777
Playing the piano feels like a secret garden for me.


This captures it entirely. It's my secret garden too. :-)
Posted By: elainemusic369

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 08/13/16 10:27 AM

I come from a non-musical family. When I was 1 and a half, my babysitter said to my mum that I had long fingers so I should learn the piano. I also always danced excitedly every time there was music playing on the tv. So when I was 6, my mum asked me if I'd like to play a musical instrument, she suggested, violin, guitar, flute and piano. She hinted that she'd really want me to play piano, so I went along with that.

Then when I was 11, my dad introduced YouTube to me. I watched other kids of a similar age playing pieces more advanced than I and was so inspired by them that I wanted to learn those pieces. I learned the pieces that I found interesting one by one and soon I had learned a decent repertoire. My dad also took a video of me every time I completed a piece and posted it on YouTube. The encouraging comments made me really happy and made me want to work harder.

A couple years later, I started competing in local music festivals and competitions. I won my first prize at 13 (second place) despite being the youngest competitor and appeared on two newspapers. The next year, I also won a prize in a music competition. This one was special as I was judged against people playing different instruments.

Now, I enjoy performing at different venues and street pianos. My younger sister has a hobby in editing videos so we will be working on a few projects combining my music skills with her editing skills for YouTube.

I was first interested in classical music because of the structure and complexity of it. Now I also like pop, rock, alternative, country and film music. I like playing songs with lyrics that resonate with me because I feel like they represent who I am. For me, music is a source of self-discovery.
Posted By: Johan B

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 08/13/16 12:35 PM

Just look at my signature....... grin grin

Kind regards,
Johan B
Posted By: Johan B

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 08/13/16 12:44 PM

Originally Posted by cathryn999
Originally Posted by blackjack1777
Playing the piano feels like a secret garden for me.


This captures it entirely. It's my secret garden too. :-)


Yes Cathryn and Blackjack,.....a nice garden full of an endless number of flowers and big trees.......sparkling streams and ferocious waterfalls.....love to ecplore it.... 3hearts

Kind regards,
Johan B
Posted By: Huyen

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 08/15/16 06:15 PM

For me, piano is a close friend but it's also something very hard to come near since I live in Vietnam and when I was a child piano wasn't very popular.

When I was 5, I started my first lesson with the father of my mother's friend. Piano was a completely new and magical thing for me. I learned how to place my hand on the piano in that lesson. My teacher said that my hands looked like crabs because they were too stiff. I thought that was so funny and I couldn't forget the first time I played a piano.
Although I was very excited, I couldn't attend the second lesson because my teacher had a stroke. He had to rest so I had to stop.

Then my primary school opened some keyboard classes and my mother had me attend that course. I remembered in that course I learn how to touch the keyboard and play C major scale.
Summer ended and, again, I had to stop. My mother still kept in touch with the teacher and she let me learn keyboard again in my 2nd grade. I learned some chords and simple songs. But things got harder and I quit.
In the summer of my 3rd grade, I asked my mother to let me attend a keyboard class and she agreed. But I didn't like the way they teach and I quit.
In my 4th grade, my friend took a keyboard class after school. One day she asked me if I wanted to join with her or not. I asked my mother and she agreed. After a few months, my teacher let me dealt with piano thing and I played the book Methode Rose.
I got my own keyboard when I was in 5th grade. I couldn't forget that day when I was sick and my parents went brought it for me. I continued until I graduated from my primary school.

When I stopped, I didn't play anything for almost 2 years. In 7th grade when I started studying again with my old teacher, I couldn't feel my hand anymore. It took me a few weeks to remember how to play but luckily I got over it. I played in an audience for the first time when in 8th grade but I got nervous and shaking so bad. When In 9th grade my parents got me my first piano and I couldn't explain my feelings by words. I spent the whole day practicing and my playing was better in a short time.

Again graduated from middle school made it difficult to attend a piano class. My teacher still worked daytime in my primary school. I tried to go back to my primary school and took lesson with my teacher there. Then my family struggled with our house ownership certificate and we were in a difficult situation trying to buy a new house. My parents didn't say but I know they didn't want me to continue. Also, I couldn't arrange time with my teacher so I quit.

I was so frustrated after that and stopped playing for a few months. One day I got back to the piano and the annoying feeling I got before came back. This time made me feel harder to control my hand.I got over it and played some old pieces that I had learned. Then I dared playing Chopin Nocturn Op 9 No 2, it was so much harder than what I had played before.
After taking the move I started practicing what ever I want even if I had to spend months practicing a hard piece. I took some cheap classes but seemed like they didn't put much effort on their teaching.Then I did a lot of search by myself, started fulfilling what theory I lack because my old teacher didn't focus much on theory. I went to pianoworld.com and read the posts you share which were very helpful for my playing.

In the beginning of this year I applied for an university in Finland. I also attended a piano class near my house although I had to invest nearly all my part-time income on the lessons. The past six months means a lot to me since I had the chance to take lesson in a serious way. My teacher told me that I didn't put my emotion in my playing so I think I have to do a lot with my expression.

I was offered a study place in my university and I quit in July to prepare for my studying. I'm working on Ah vous dirai-je maman before I have to leave my piano.
Really I don't want to stop at all but it seems like I have to do it again. I don't want to experience the feeling when sitting in front of it and can't do nothing. But the living expenses in Finland are very expensive with me and I can not attend any piano classes.

I will leave in 10 days' time and I want to share my story in order for me to remember about my piano playing path. Although it is very hard to continue but I hope I can do something to keep playing it.



Posted By: Piano Tipping

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 08/17/16 04:52 PM

I have always loved music, but have recently in the past year or so become addicted to piano. I started with trombone as a kid, then guitar, but should have started with piano. I play for lots of reasons. It relieves stress. You can't think of other things while playing. It sometimes feels like a super power, especially when you learn something new.
Posted By: Tubbie0075

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 08/17/16 06:29 PM

I play music because creating a combination of sounds that is pleasant to the ears, mind and heart brings me more pleasure than any other activities (e.g. compared to painting or dancing or eating or socialising etc.) . I play the piano because it has the most repertoire than any other instruments, it has the most range apart from organ, capable of playing a lot more notes at once (compared to trumpet or violin etc.) and that tinkling sound is particularly pleasing. Whatever the piano cannot do, I get it from playing the violin.

I am a routine person. Practising/playing the piano routinely suits me. Playing music gives me a sense of purpose and progressing in it gives me a sense of achievement. It is also particularly challenging to the mind. It raises a lot of questions yet you find a lot of answers, whether it's music related or not. It teaches me a lot of things that can apply to life in general. It is art, it is science, it is history, it is math, it is philosophy, it is a journey, it is adventurous, it is challenging, it is an emotional outlet, it is humanity, it is a sanctuary... it is a lot of things.

That is why I play the piano, and that is why I keep playing the piano.
Posted By: Albunea

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 08/17/16 07:16 PM

I play the piano because my hands started aching and a music teacher told me "Why don't you learn to play the piano". She is very funny... cool

One day I was sitting by some drums and a friend told me "That looks SO MUCH like your thing!". LOL I think this was before the piano even? My neighbors can deal with a digital piano but drums would be too much. laugh

Anyhow, my hands are not hurting anymore. smile
Posted By: kristop

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 08/20/16 10:00 AM

Originally Posted by Lee Ann
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

One of the first thing my new teacher told me (20 years ago) was: "if only the best pianist in the world was allowed to play, me neither I wouldn't be playing"... Isn't that great ?
(hope my english translation is understandable)
Posted By: my-names-are-used

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 08/26/16 08:43 AM

I bought one to try to learn as a retirement project, but I don't have much space, so I was constantly setting it up & putting it away.

This got annoying very quickly, & I went & bought harmonicas, but I struggled with breath control, so I tried ukulele, that worked, I could just about play that, so I went with ukes for the past 8 months.

But I am missing both my harps & my piano, so I am having a go at both again, along side of my ukes, so I guess that is why I 'play' piano, because I like to try getting tunes out of it. smile
Posted By: Moonsh1ne

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 08/29/16 12:22 PM

I was just at the Greenwich hospital in Connecticut to visit a newborn nephew, and they have a Steinway D in the lobby smile
The receptionist said I was welcome to come back anytime. I guess that's why I play the piano.
Posted By: briangmoore

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 09/01/16 12:14 AM

Huyen,

that is a great story it really comes through how much you love the piano. If you are going to university, they probably have practice rooms, you can keep playing. Even if you have to stop your lessons for a while because of your studies you can still keep in say 30 min. a day. That's what I do. I work at a university and they are very generous and welcoming in allowing non-music students to use their practice rooms. I honestly think that if you stop at say mid-day and play for 30 minutes probably your studies will improve. It helps a lot to get your mine exercised in a different direction and then go back to your work.
Posted By: Ted

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 09/06/16 09:35 AM

Because I am compelled to. I have an imperative to create and map my psyche, consciousness, soul, whatever you like to call it, onto abstract piano sound. The recorded, spontaneous improvisation, of increasing duration and frequency, seems unstoppable. I am not really either musician or pianist in any conventional sense, that is something I have learned from people on forums over the last fourteen years, and I shall probably get progressively madder with it, like Louis Wain and his cat paintings, until I peg out.
Posted By: egravia

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 09/07/16 07:17 AM

To get girls. :-)
Posted By: ClsscLib

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 09/07/16 09:32 AM

Because I don't have the right embouchure for the ocarina.
Posted By: Ralphiano

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 09/07/16 08:47 PM

Originally Posted by ClsscLib
Because I don't have the right embouchure for the ocarina.


Oh my God! Ocarinia Specific Embouchurical Impairment(OSEI)! I've heard of such cases, but, until now, had never known of one of its sufferers! I hope there is some treatment, or relief, available to you! And, I hope it doesn't affect your piano playing! laugh
Posted By: rustyzofkeys

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 09/09/16 09:30 PM

Story time! When I was at the age of 13, I went to a new school where a very nice music teacher greeted me. He wanted me to try out an instrument, in where I refused at first because I'd be like what, a 13-year old beginner, not some Mozart, Lang Lang, or any pianist who was considered exceptional in their very early childhood? Because the thing is, when we learn a skill, sometimes we happen to like it so much we want to become so much better than our beginner selves. Some pianists who want to become fully-fledged professionals enjoy being competitive, and want to make it to the top in order to achieve their goals. I'm one of them, but my greatest weakness, is without a doubt my late age of beginning the piano.

My music teacher convinced me that it's worth a try, and so there I tried out the acoustic guitar. After finding out it's not my type of instrument, I tried the piano. I actually liked playing the piano. I thought it was the closest to my love for video games. I didn't play that much, however. Therefore, technically it didn't feel like I started at the age of 13, but at the age of 14.

I felt like I started at the age of 14 because what I'll be taking lessons with, is not only an extremely-accomplished pianist, but a pianist I knew back in my childhood as early as 5. She was the organist of the church I go to every week. During my summer vacation when I was 14, my parents wanted me to go to her piano recital, and I was like "Whoa, those are some impressive students!" when I watched her students play, even the younger ones. After watching, I thought that taking lessons with a teacher like this would be a good idea.

This teacher was far better. Taught me so many things. I didn't really practice that much when I was 14 and 15 (I chewed up from 30 minutes to an hour of practice a day, sometimes I don't even practice), but this year I plan to take it up a few notches. And of course, my teacher gave me opportunities to perform in small stages.

I'm 16 years old now, playing the piano as an intermediate (most likely early-intermediate). That'll change though, as nowadays my love for piano grows larger overtime. And other pianists who discourage me for my late age can begone. I play like it's the only thing that has ever appealed to me in life, play for a professional career as there's no other good job. I knew that this was only the beginning of my music journey.
Posted By: Riou

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 09/12/16 11:33 AM

Hi in a new member and I haven't really posted a lot. I'm 31
And I started on reading forums from 16.
I may of posted a total of 30 times in that span of time. I have adhd and I'm my thinking is off sometimes on how I look at things. My father always said I was book smart and don't have common sense. I was subject to a strict father who I feel like abused me and I had to walk eggshells my whole life. Inwas smacked punched beat with no loving words with it just rage .I have been searching for meaning and purpose a good part of my life. Something to fulfill me and thru one of the worst times in my life I came across the piano . I love watching contemporary video games theme and music soundtracks and watching there hands play absolutely captured me. It look like art the way there hands moved across the keys and the sound it produced. I have a hard time saying what I mean. Expressing emotion and being authentic. I always been a liar In my life. I want to be a good person and thru this piano I'm learning to practice patience and is my first step into trying to master a hobby. I give up on everything in my life everything . I don't commit to anything. And I can't get enough of the piano/ keyboard. It takes all my stress away and I'm learning something that is hard and fulfilling.
I wanted to be honest with myself the first time In my life and posting and being s a part of a community will Be my first step into this new life.

That is why I play the piano. I want to be free . It gives me purpose . And thanks for everyone who read my story. I really don't tell my story and I have a lot more to tell but some point I had to start sharing my pain then reading it from everyone else.
Posted By: Nahum

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 09/16/16 04:29 PM

I grew up in a musical family, my mom wanted me to become a violinist. But I always wanted to play the piano, and it turned out was right: through the piano I can best express to myself and to others. .
Posted By: emotive

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 09/22/16 05:54 AM

This is my first post on Piano World. I do not know how to play and I have next to no experience, but piano has always been for me a magical creature that I wish I could speak with. Musicians and their instruments are the highest form of human expression, and the piano a leader among them. I have tried to plunk out some songs by ear. Right hand only. I hope to take lessons or maybe self-study so I can play even some simple, but beautiful tunes without such effort! We had a piano when I was a child and I took about three lessons - but our family's schedule was just too busy and I was unable to continue. There is simply something spiritual in the physical resonance when you touch a key. The vibration penetrates your body so you can experience the sound in a very tactile way. I am not religious, but I have a spirit that awakes for the piano. The immediate and universal conveyance of emotional subtleties in each note cannot be avoided. It is purity and goodness. You share the craft of the people who created it, the trees and metals and even elephants that it is created from. The piano is its own creature and each with its own voice. I simply love them.

I am now mother of two young kids and seeking to shepherd them, without pressure that would kill the beauty, yet, with a commitment that could enable them to learn this language. I always felt I wanted to play and how can you let them know what they should so appreciate if you do not speak the language, but perhaps, just get the gist of it?

We have been struggling on a partially working keyboard for about a year. We have a very patient teacher who has let my 7 year old try the star wars themes and some popular tunes seven years, etc., but he is simply not motivated to practice and I fear I am trying too hard. My 4 year old, by contrast, will spontaneously just play on the keys. Thank goodness, my mother has taken notice of our efforts and decided to pass the piano of her childhood to us! I am so excited for this! I hope that the voice of a true mythical creature in our home will help my boys gain enthusiasm. I will be seeking guidance on various questions on PW through this journey - lessons or self study for myself, general teaching approach and how to practice for my kids, of course, a review of our instrument and its needs *I believe it is a Baldwin Model M from approximately 1953. My mom still plays it occasionally, but it has moved a few times with our family and i imagine it will need some advice in the technicians forum.

I will love reading the various perspectives of all of the piano enthusiasts in this thread. Thank you in advance for the depth of perspective that might be gained from your collective experiences and thoughts!

Cheers!

Posted By: dogperson

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 09/22/16 06:18 AM

@Emotive
Welcome to the forums! My goodness, I found your post about why you feel a spiritual connection with the piano both eloquent, heartfelt, and how many of us feel.

.. 'Purity and goodness' expresses it.

You will find the forums helpful.. use the piano technicians forum for questions about the care and feeding of your Baldwin. The adult beginners forum has several thread of beginners that are studying with the various adult method books.
Posted By: emotive

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 09/22/16 06:25 AM

I liked this reply on the Technician's Forum to the Secret Life of Pianos thread:

Thanks so much, Bob, for posting. His love of the acoustic piano is so heartwarming.... 'treat your piano like a great aunt you love'. Regardless of the positive attributes of digital pianos, I wonder how many digital pianists would have that type of emotional connection? I think many of us with acoustics do.
Posted By: CQlady

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 09/22/16 01:28 PM

Well, when I was a kid I always loved playing around on the keyboard my dad had. My grandpa also had an organ in his house that we used to love just playing around on. I never took lessons or anything like that but as I grew up I loved listening to music with piano in it. My alarm used to be Hungarian Rhapsody #5. I just don't know why I have always been drawn to it. I don't know anyone who plays the piano but when I did come across someone who could I was just fascinated by it.

Then, as some mommies tend to do, I put my kid in piano lessons. I bought her a digital piano and she had about 10 lessons and gave it up. But we kept the piano and I would use her books and kind of just play around with it. Stopped. Then picked it up again and kept at it. Times fell hard and I had to sell the piano but I vowed that when I had enough money to get one again I would. Then in March I took the plunge and bought a Privia PX-160 with levels 1,2, and 3 of Alfred's Basic All in one books. Not realizing that they take a while to get through.

So since then I have practiced everyday for 20-30 minutes. Not including warm up. I love it. The satisfaction I get when I complete a new song brings me joy that I just don't get from very many places.
Posted By: dashy

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 09/26/16 03:51 PM

Honestly?

Partly because I love all music and wish to create my own.

Partly because in my 40's and it's good for my mental health and self-esteem.

Partly because I'm envious of people who can play music.

I did violin for a while, and I loved it, but I like piano because intonation isn't a concern and it provides its own harmony and rhythm.
Posted By: Stubbie

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 09/29/16 06:23 PM

Because nothing beats sitting down at the piano and making music come out of it.
Posted By: Kataway

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 10/01/16 01:36 PM

I'm 65 and the first time I had a keyboard (it was a synth) around me I was 23 years old. I never took lessons and I always like to have a piano close to me since then. Now I do have an electric piano Yamaha P85 and that's enough to satisfy my needs. Why do I like to play it? I'm a guitar player mainly and I started in '69. Then I learn how to play bass few years after. I was a self taught musician till '80. I took some jazz lessons on the guitar. After that I followed a full year a complete arranging course. I needed the piano more than ever before. I was checking the harmony, if it was possible to use different types of harmony or chords. Through all these years I learned other instruments...like violoncello, Chapman Stick...this last one bring me back to the piano. I often switch between these 2 instruments...they are quite similar in many ways...hands independance for example. The stick is a tapping instrument and I like to play chords with my left hand and improvising with my right. I do the same on piano. More I pratice one more I feel good on the other one...they complete themselves. But...they are so different on other sides. The piano is a very visual instrument...you "see" what you play (I don't read music on these instruments...I read on guitar and bass) while on the Stick it's almost all inside your head...sometimes you look at your neck but you have to come back in your mind to get a good improvisation. I love this side of the piano where you have a clear "image" of what you're playing.
Posted By: PM7

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 10/02/16 09:40 PM

I was a first generation of children in my family that was not sent to music school. In my home there was a XIXth century grand piano, completely out of tune, that I eventually spent some time with it, but obviously it was most unsuitable to play.

As a little child I was exposed to classical music and some 80ties pop music, as a teenager I was listening to some pop-rock orientated radio, and eventually I got tired and bored of guitars everywhere. I reminded myself some odd sounds and started looking, that how I re-discovered the 80ties pop and electronic music. The same time I had trouble sleeping, I couldn't fall asleep because of songs playing in my head again and again, I could't get rid of.

Eventually, I discovered I can recoginize more pitch changes than in the past, I also started hearing at first, very odd sounds, and later, strange melodies I couldn't recognize. At some point I've discovered that I can controll this melodies that appear in my mind, change them, develop them, and invent new ones.
Finally, when I was 22 I think, I bough myself a keyboard, because I wanted to bring those melodies from my head to the outside world, back then I didn't realize how difficult this would be.

Struggling to play anything, and after some pathetic attempts to make any composition, I decided to take piano lessons. Those were both helpful and distatrous in some areas, but eventually they helped. By the time I got more and more into classical music, and by now it

Why do I play piano now? Well, I'm not really sure. It's enjoyable, it brings satisfaction, and when I do not play for some time, I get a strange feeling that something is missing. Also, when I play, I feel that my brain works in different way, like I can run away from this boring and mad world of human affairs, and do something interesting, isolated from it.
To me, classical music is not only a impressive workshop and beautiful piece of art, it is also a cure for my spirit, while playing piano is life for my mind.
Posted By: Andy W

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 10/09/16 01:52 AM

I was originally trained as a singer (boy soprano). When I was old enough to play church league basketball, the games ran too late for my bedtime so my parents got me lessons as a consolation prize. I have never looked back. It was a good way to not fit in comfortably in High School, it was a great way to pick up girls in college, and it now prominently fits in my collection of quirks as an engineer.

I love the piano the way some guys love cars, or motorcycles, but it's a cheaper hobby than racing. If I ever get a man-cave, there will be two good pianos for fourhand parties and a matching pool table. The piano has been my salvation, my downfall on more than one occasion, and a place to turn to when it was time to retrieve my sanity. It's an incredibly frustrating instrument, yet so rewarding when I do finally make my peace through whatever piece I am struggling with--Brahms Op. 118 No. 2 was what finally taught me to breathe with the music at the piano, for example--that I forgive it.

On an existential plane, I guess I have to be forgiven by *it* as well. My relationship to the piano has not always been good--forced to stop playing for many years by repetitive motion problems arising from bad posture and poor technique or putting a bottle-opener on the leg of my grand--but I have always gone back to it, which makes it my home in life, no matter how far I wander. My life would be deeply impoverished without it.
Posted By: Falsch

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 10/12/16 11:51 AM

Hi smile After lurking here for more than a year, I've decided to finally register smile

I'm adult restarter with regard to classical music, and a beginner on the piano. As a kid I had music lessons for four years ("music school"), followed by four years of classical organ.

Back then, my main reason to go for the organ was because I wanted to play the Toccata and Fugue in D Minor smile In the end I managed that cool, but never got around to playing the Fugue without mistakes cry

Later, my parents were not too happy with the classical organ repertoire ("church music"), and 'encouraged' me to switch to a keyboard; so I wasted (my current opinion) several years playing on arrangers. At around 2001 I started university, sold the arranger (Technics KN-3000) cancelled lessons, and basically quit playing.

In 2007-2008, I started again on an arranger and discovered that I hated it. I switched, in rapid succession, from a Yamaha arranger to a Roland Atelier AT-100, and finally a Hammond XH-200, which I kept until last year. In the end I settled on playing (mainly) movie/broadway soundtracks by using lead sheets, improvising a complete left hand and bass accompaniment myself.

Last year in June, because of a move to where the big XH-200 couldn't follow (stairs, tight bends, and such...) I sold the Hammond and bought a Nord C2D, thinking to move back to classical organ and do some 'pure' Hammond-like stuff along with it.

I failed miserably crazy

For some reason, I now don't like to play classical organ, and there are very few pieces I like to listen to. I don't know why. With regard to the Hammond, I dislike it as a solo instrument, though I *love* hearing it in a mix. I greatly missed the orchestral capabilities and layering of the XH-200 frown

At some point, while searching for organ techniques, I accidentally found this piece on Youtube:

Of Monsters and Men - Organs

It's a simple piece, but I love it. I also discovered that it's impossible to play well on the organ (ironically enough) because of the required sustain and subsequent decay of the bass notes eek

I did the thing I never thought I would do: I started to research piano's that had multiple layer capabilities. If there is ONE instrument I've disliked in my childhood, it was the piano. All the piano's I ever heard were either cheap, crappy digitals, or badly maintained uprights, so my experience with the piano wasn't very good mad

In the end, after researching the Nord Piano 2, Yamaha CP4, Roland RD-800, Kawai MP7 and MP11, I ended up with the Kawai MP7. Off all those stage piano's, I liked the MP7 best. In my opinion, it had the best user interface, the only one with an (almost) complete drawbar organ, and the piano sound I liked the most. (Even though I never played a piano, I knew what to listen for because of the extensive research, and how to test it.) It even had the lowest price of all of them thumb

In december 2015 I decided to finally to get the MP7 and 'try some piano'.

Since then, I have been moving my soundtrack/broadway repertoire to the MP7, slowly, inventing a new left-hand-only accompaniment for use with the lead sheets. I've also started to play some popular music as piano-only songs (lead sheets also, with improvised accompaniment by listening to YouTube video's).

This went fine, and the Nord C2D organ fell into disuse.

I haven't found anything the yet that the MP7 can't do. Because I already used a TV-monitor with a mini-computer for sheet music (I need music at A3 format because of poor eyesight), I got Pianoteq while it was on sale a few weeks ago. With it, I got the free Kivir collection, the Ruckers Harpsichord, and the two Kremsegg collections, just because I like the old sounds. I the end, I connected the MP7+Pianoteq to a set of 8 inch Focal Alpha 80 speakers.

a few weeks ago, I thought to try some Bach again, at the piano/harpsichord this time, after not having played that sort of music for over 20 years. I've dug out some of the old music books. Burgmüller, Czerny, Hanon, a binder with "Etude 1 to 50" that sound remarkably like Bach, Scarlatti and Clementi (when playing the right hand only, as I can't sight read them anymore), and some other books in the Schirmer and Peters collections.

It didn't go well mad

When comparing what I did back then to what would be required now to obtain ABRSM grades, my level at the time would have been somewhere within ABRSM 5. Now, my classical repertoire is completely shot crazy I can't even do a single Bach 2-part invention any more, and I make mistakes when trying to sight read the left hand of Minuet in G Major... reading lead sheets and chord symbols does that to you, I suppose.

Still, I want to play a solo instrument that does not depend on special things such as the MP7's layering capabilities, and that does not need speakers and other stuff connected to it. It also needs to fit into the living room, for which the MP7 has now become too wide.

After careful research and testing, I settled on a Roland LX-17; it will be delivered in another two weeks or so.

The MP7 will stick around in the computer room for the multi-part movie/broadway soundtracks and the use of the old piano's and harpsichords, while the LX-17 will be used to restart the classical music, moving from organ to piano, and for playing piano-only versions of the soundtracks.

Well... even though I'm not a beginner at keyboard instruments, this is how a classical/electronic organ player ends up as a beginner at the piano grin

My nickname represents how my classical repertoire currently sounds whistle
Posted By: Mason&HamlinFan

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 10/16/16 09:44 PM

Musically, I started out on the guitar. As a pre-teen I became completely enamored of the Beatles (which still holds very much today), so picking up guitar was a natural progression for me in the mid-60s. Like most who approach popular guitar, I learned chords and strumming and eventually fingerpicking, but played without learning to read music. Still, I got good enough later to play professionally in a band.

At age 17, about the time I first began gigging in a band, I knew a woman who played the piano quite well and she wanted to learn guitar. Meanwhile, I wanted to expand myself musically, so we decided to trade lessons. I think I took about six piano lessons before quitting. I was too impatient. I wanted to really play something of substance as opposed to simple beginners’ arrangements of things like nursery rhymes.

So I took my knowledge of chords and moved them over to piano, which proved to be much easier to see on a keyboard than guitar because of how everything is arranged in exactly repeating groups of 12 black and white keys. Then I taught myself to arrange for piano by listening to music that would challenge me and then duplicating what I heard. In this way I learned tricks about arranging for both hands.

Along the way I discovered a love for Tchaikovsky, Chopin, Rachmaninoff and others. I soon became proficient at playing from a lead sheet and also filled in some blanks by learning basic music theory. I never learned to really sight read, however, though I often wish I had. I can always figure out the sheet music if I really want to, but I can’t just sit down and immediately play it. I can only do that with my chord piano arrangements.

Recently I discovered the mostly forgotten but great Broadway composer Vincent Youmans. I soon fell in love with a lot of his music and worked up arrangements of several of his classic songs. But one thing I realized in carefully studying the sheet music for his songs was that there were subtleties that would be easy to miss going purely by chord notation. Back in the 1920s and 30s, they were heavy into “color chords” and the original arrangements often did unexpected but very nice things. So it’s been educational to go through and figure out the precise musical notation and incorporate some of those important details into my arrangements.

Why do I play piano? Because I can’t think of anything more gratifying and artistically satisfying than sitting down at my 7-foot Mason & Hamlin BB and letting my fingers loose. It makes me happy. It can be exciting, joyful or meditative, but it’s always healing on many levels, and it doesn’t get any better than that.
Posted By: berkhunermusic

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 10/17/16 09:23 AM

cause It is the best thing in my life (not only piano I play guitar too I can't choose one of them :D)
Posted By: Bobpickle

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 10/17/16 10:40 PM

So as to pursue the inimitable catharsis derived from certain music... or just make pretty noise, depending on how you look at it smile
Posted By: grlazy

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 10/18/16 05:35 PM

Well ,
I can remember my self listening to music from my early years.
Around age of 7, i was given by my grandfather an old AM radio and i was listening to stations until late night.
Never had some kind of music education thought, didn't had the mind the keep in track those days nor my familys economics could allow such expences.
But that music in my head was always there,anywhere,anyplace.

Life is funny some times and some decades later my daughter wanted to learn music (guitar) and i also decided to give music a try.I also thought that the precious dad (me) should try just to set a good example for the daughter.
Even in my wildest dreams, i couldn't imagine that in any point of my life i could play even any song with piano
Some three years later i keep going (and don't care how far it will get me to).

Didn't had in mind to learn especially piano , mostly keys (great fan of electro-pop and such) . Also not great fan of classical music but i follow teachers instruction (but i managed to convince her to switch to rock songs cool ).
In the meanwhile i switched from midi keyboard to synthesizer and after that to stage piano now (teacher thought it would be good for the blues lessons).
Posted By: John Keller

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 11/01/16 04:52 PM

I come from a long line of accomplished musicians. Music is in my DNA. To not play would be like being pregnant and never giving birth.
Posted By: FrankDaddy

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 11/05/16 11:24 PM

This is a great question.

Some background about me.

Well I started at 12 years old taking piano lessons. It did come easy to a point. My mother and my two sisters played. I played through high school and college. During college I played with several bands with a Hammond Organ and Rhodes 88 electric Piano. After college got married and stop playing for 20 years raising a family and working keeping that kept me very busy. Started taking lessons when my daughters were taking lessons. I am taking lessons now from a wonderful pianist here in Houston. I have fallen in love again with the Piano. I will keep playing until I cannot play. This is probably going to be my retirement gig somehow. I have played for churches and for retreats for the last 6 years. Nothing like playing Chopin, Bach, Mozart or any of the other masters. I still am not as good as I should be but I am trying.

The piano has really defined me. I would not have it any other way.
Posted By: Falsch

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 11/07/16 02:15 PM

I realised that my post earlier in this thread mainly describes HOW I ended up at the piano, but not WHY.

In the last 10 years, I've been looking for a solo instrument: an instrument that can be played without any extra's, such as drums or accompaniment. Because I studied classical organ for four years as a kid, and had played home organs extensively, I tried the Nord C2D, because it has both classical and Hammond capabilities.

I didn't like it too much, because it's just not fit for playing popular music. The classical organ is exceptional, but only fit for classical organ music. The Hammond is near perfect as well, but for playing popular music, it really, really needs some accompaniment. I found that I don't really care for solo Hammond.

The one thing I like about classical organ is the huge, never-ending reverb. The same holds true for something like a flute played in church. I found something similar in the sustain of the piano.

I've never considered piano before because the ones I've played in the past were really low-end digitals, or badly maintained uprights, and the people I knew that played only played classical music... often very fast pieces.

After getting into classical music more, outside of the organ, I found pieces such as the Moonlight Sonata (1st movement), the Gymnopedies, and some very slow modern pieces such as "Organs" (hehe) by Monsters and Men.

Pieces like that bring out the sustain of the piano. That is what made me try the piano (with the MP7) and finally switch from organ (to the LX-17, after selling the Nord C2D).

I now play the piano because it can be such a soft and lyrical instrument. To some extend it's also therapeutic / meditative or something. Maybe you can't believe it, but I can play something like Bach's Prelude in C, BWV 846 in a loop for an hour. (No, I'm not afraid to use the sustain pedal with a Bach piece if I think it fits it :))

If anybody knows a piece like that in a minor key, I'd like to know.
Posted By: dogperson

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 11/07/16 03:21 PM

Originally Posted by Falsch
I realised that my post earlier in this thread mainly describes HOW I ended up at the piano, but not WHY.

In the last 10 years, I've been looking for a solo instrument: an instrument that can be played without any extra's, such as drums or accompaniment. Because I studied classical organ for four years as a kid, and had played home organs extensively, I tried the Nord C2D, because it has both classical and Hammond capabilities.

I didn't like it too much, because it's just not fit for playing popular music. The classical organ is exceptional, but only fit for classical organ music. The Hammond is near perfect as well, but for playing popular music, it really, really needs some accompaniment. I found that I don't really care for solo Hammond.

The one thing I like about classical organ is the huge, never-ending reverb. The same holds true for something like a flute played in church. I found something similar in the sustain of the piano.

I've never considered piano before because the ones I've played in the past were really low-end digitals, or badly maintained uprights, and the people I knew that played only played classical music... often very fast pieces.

After getting into classical music more, outside of the organ, I found pieces such as the Moonlight Sonata (1st movement), the Gymnopedies, and some very slow modern pieces such as "Organs" (hehe) by Monsters and Men.

Pieces like that bring out the sustain of the piano. That is what made me try the piano (with the MP7) and finally switch from organ (to the LX-17, after selling the Nord C2D).

I now play the piano because it can be such a soft and lyrical instrument. To some extend it's also therapeutic / meditative or something. Maybe you can't believe it, but I can play something like Bach's Prelude in C, BWV 846 in a loop for an hour. (No, I'm not afraid to use the sustain pedal with a Bach piece if I think it fits it :))

If anybody knows a piece like that in a minor key, I'd like to know.

Welcome to the forum!
Bach prelude and fugue in C Minor
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JcFHuUJE0mU


imslp has a list of Bach compositions and the keys
http://imslp.org/wiki/List_of_works_by_Johann_Sebastian_Bach
Posted By: RubyBlues

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 11/07/16 08:06 PM

First, please let me say,

HELLO EVERYONE!

Oh, I so LOVED reading people's responses here. Thanks to all for sharing some of your personal reasons.

Me, the reason is quite simple: I love music, and the piano's sound is part of who I am--it's the sound of my soul. However, not that I really play any actual songs yet. The music is still only in my heart and soul... waiting for my hands to catch up. LOL.

(ALSO: LATE TO THE PIANO: I loved reading your response!)

Thanks!
Posted By: Falsch

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 11/07/16 08:33 PM

Originally Posted by dogperson

Welcome to the forum!
Bach prelude and fugue in C Minor
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JcFHuUJE0mU


imslp has a list of Bach compositions and the keys
http://imslp.org/wiki/List_of_works_by_Johann_Sebastian_Bach


Thanks smile I should have been clearer. I didn't mean the/a Prelude in c Minor; I know that one. I meant a Bach piece with a lot of broken chords, like in BWV 846, but in a Minor key, that can be played slow and with sustain pedal smile
Posted By: Curious42

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 11/08/16 04:53 AM

My first post. I have been lurking for 3 or 4 years and finally registered.

Playing piano helps my attention deficit hyperactivity disorder; it really calms my thinking and makes my brain feel unbelievable relaxed, creative, and energized. I am a "better" person when I practice on a regular basis.

I began playing from 8 to 12 years old; taught mostly classical music. Moved onto designing circuits and programming during jr high and high school and consequently stopped practicing piano for nearly 35 years.

Married and kids came along. My wife suggested we have the boys practice and play piano, now 14 and 10. The boys began playing about 7 years ago, and I fell in love wanting to practice while watching the boys and the instructor playing and practicing.

Now the 3 of us take private lessons (as a family) each Sunday afternoon for the past 5 years.

We all perform at the bi annual piano recitals, including myself. I am 52.

I can say that practicing piano has tremendously helped my technical work creativity. The past 5 years I have written and filed over 45 U.S. patents. When I don't practice regularly, I can immediately tell when my brain is off. I am sharper and more creative now then when I was between 20 to 40's.

I am currently practicing 3 Stephen Heller pieces for our January class recital. I never heard him before but his music touches my soul like jazz - but this classical music.

I have been practicing basic jazz scales and some basic blues; I am a closet jazz want to be player; I envision the sustained improvision will also help with my ADHD.

-stu

Posted By: dogperson

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 11/08/16 06:45 AM

Originally Posted by Falsch
Originally Posted by dogperson

Welcome to the forum!
Bach prelude and fugue in C Minor
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JcFHuUJE0mU


imslp has a list of Bach compositions and the keys
http://imslp.org/wiki/List_of_works_by_Johann_Sebastian_Bach


Thanks smile I should have been clearer. I didn't mean the/a Prelude in c Minor; I know that one. I meant a Bach piece with a lot of broken chords, like in BWV 846, but in a Minor key, that can be played slow and with sustain pedal smile


Horrors, I know, but I play much more Chopin and Debussy.
Try Bach BWV 578 - if this doesn't work for you, try reposting on the Adult Beginner's or the Pianists forums where you will get more Bach afficiendos that read the thread
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y76uH2xu670
Posted By: RubyBlues

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 11/08/16 11:48 AM

Originally Posted by Curious42
My first post. I have been lurking for 3 or 4 years and finally registered.

Playing piano helps my attention deficit hyperactivity disorder; it really calms my thinking and makes my brain feel unbelievable relaxed, creative, and energized. I am a "better" person when I practice on a regular basis.

I began playing from 8 to 12 years old; taught mostly classical music. Moved onto designing circuits and programming during jr high and high school and consequently stopped practicing piano for nearly 35 years.

Married and kids came along. My wife suggested we have the boys practice and play piano, now 14 and 10. The boys began playing about 7 years ago, and I fell in love wanting to practice while watching the boys and the instructor playing and practicing.

Now the 3 of us take private lessons (as a family) each Sunday afternoon for the past 5 years.

We all perform at the bi annual piano recitals, including myself. I am 52.

I can say that practicing piano has tremendously helped my technical work creativity. The past 5 years I have written and filed over 45 U.S. patents. When I don't practice regularly, I can immediately tell when my brain is off. I am sharper and more creative now then when I was between 20 to 40's.

I am currently practicing 3 Stephen Heller pieces for our January class recital. I never heard him before but his music touches my soul like jazz - but this classical music.

I have been practicing basic jazz scales and some basic blues; I am a closet jazz want to be player; I envision the sustained improvision will also help with my ADHD.

-stu


Hey Stu!

That's so cool! I think music can be a form of medicine for the soul. LOL.

Nice to learn of your children endeavors--if I had children I will definitely expose them to music.

I am an Open Jazz lover.. the classics and Oscar Peterson is my beloved favorite.
Posted By: Junegirl

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 11/16/16 02:52 PM

I love playing the piano.
In my home growing up we always had classical music playing on the cd player. My father played the guitar and my mother played the auto harp when I was really young.

I was interested in learning how to play an instrument but neither the opportunity or will smile developed for me to actually do something about it.

Fast forward 17 years and my husband buys an old upright piano for himself to fiddle around with. That is when my desire to learn came back to me. I discovered Alfred's Basic Adult all-in-one Course books and have now reached the 3rd book.
Posted By: Falsch

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 11/20/16 05:33 PM

Originally Posted by dogperson

Horrors, I know, but I play much more Chopin and Debussy.
Try Bach BWV 578 - if this doesn't work for you, try reposting on the Adult Beginner's or the Pianists forums where you will get more Bach afficiendos that read the thread
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y76uH2xu670


I know BWV 578 (at least, as a listener).

It's a three voice fugue, if I remember correctly. I'll give it a try. See you around in 2024 smile
Posted By: Smoothsurf

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 11/22/16 11:49 PM

Why do I play piano?
...
The piano is just one part of me, yes. But in those moments, when I perform. Without a doubt the piano is everything to me. If I tried to take it away it would be like plucking off my limbs. I could never live without the piano, it is something that no matter what is taken away from me or where I am in my life that I will always have. No matter what. I will never forget the piano, not a chance! Because I live for those moments. Because I'm a musician. The piano is what keeps me from losing my heart...it brings me love and passion. To me, music is freedom, and the piano is how I express that freedom.
Posted By: Bankie

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 11/26/16 09:37 PM

As I've just registered, this thread is probably a good place to make my first post, rather than lurk.

I've been playing piano for just over 2 and a half years, and it was triggered by listening to Muse's "Collateral Damage", which is an altered version of Chopin's Nocturne Op9 No2 with some added strings. I tried learning it on a midi keyboard with the Alicia's Keys soft synth, but it just didn't cut the mustard, so I bought a Roland RD-800 (though I've since moved to a V-Piano).

So why do I play piano? I've played guitar since I was 7 (I'm 45 now), but however good I got, I always felt I was fighting the instrument and couldn't put enough into the feel and emotion of what I was playing. The piano is just so much easier, and though it arguably lacks the expression of a string instrument, just being able to concentrate on the music brings more of the joy of playing and putting myself into it rather than always thinking about getting my fingers into the right place. It's great to have found an instrument I can spend hours practising, and really enjoy the journey of improving and becoming comfortable with a piece, rather than getting frustrated with my lack of skill.

In short, it just feels natural and "right" for me.
Posted By: Falsch

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 11/26/16 09:57 PM

LOL... the guitar. I've tried it a few times. I always felt like Dr. McCoy.

"Dammit Jim, I'm a musician, not a hand contortionist!"

One of my friends is quite a good guitar player, and I cringe at some of the chords I see him making with his left hand. That guy must have fingers with 6 parts instead of three. On the other hand, he thinks I've got three brains because I can play the organ...

Good luck on the piano smile
Posted By: dewar

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 12/01/16 06:29 AM

Not really sure why. I always enjoyed piano music even though we never had one. In school I ended up playing an assortment of wind instruments but not the piano as they didn't have one. Kind of a shame we didn't have the great actions we do today back then and with rental ability lol. I probably would have mastered it back then as a kid the right way.

Anywho, it wasn't until years later we were cleaning out a business and my mother whos a packrat and a half found this old upright Baldwin that had seen better days. So with it loaded into our 4 season temperature garage out of tune by a couple of keys I learned from reference notes and then ear.( back when the net wasn't mainstream) After that then I invested in a cheap portable until I retrained myself to play reading music then I invested in a better used weighted key, and now have a nice expensive one with great keys.

Now I just enjoy playing for myself. I spend hours lost in thought on that thing. I still cheat sometimes and play by ear and quick key reference to memorize songs I like quicker though. I think no matter what ya play as long as you love it learning is easy. Its just constant endless repetition until you can do it fluidly.
Posted By: outss

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 12/02/16 01:49 PM

Never felt like i was really made for guitar, piano just felt right; I felt comfortable.
Posted By: tenuki

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 12/10/16 10:57 AM

I play other instruments, I came to the piano after cello and trombone and after a short stint at the piano in college I learned guitar and played in punk and alt bands for years. I'm coming back to the piano now because of jazz and because of playing by myself a lot. The piano is the closest I can get to what I hear in my head, i.e. a trio or quartet, not just a single instrument. I'm also studying theory now for the first time and the piano is definitely the place to do that.

That's the reasoning part of my brain's idea. I suspect there is something deeper. My mother was a professional keyboardist, organ, piano, even some vibes, and a music teacher. After she passed I used the small amount of money she left me to buy a piano, and recommitted to it then. I'm pretty sure I'm doing it now mostly because it gets me close to her again. She was strictly classical, and that isn't my style, but the intent is the same. So many nights falling asleep to greigs concerto or something similar in my youth...

On top of all of that.... I _like_ it, it makes me giddy. Guess that's all the reason I really need.
Posted By: Albunea

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 12/10/16 11:29 AM

That's sweet, tenuki. smile
Posted By: cynalan

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 12/15/16 11:12 PM

My extended family are quite musical; many have played in bands performing at weddings. From the time I was a child I always wanted to play the piano. Unfortunately, my parents could not afford a piano and I was saddled with an accordion instead. I never liked it though i did pass my grade 10. In high school, I learned to play the viola and oboe.

From the time I met my wife, I enjoyed dabbling on her family's piano, but obviously had a nonexistent left hand. I bought a midi keyboard and enjoyed arranging and recording songs... but my technique never improved.

Approximately 8 years ago, when I turned 50, her parent's shipped their piano to me. I took 4 years of lessons and loved every minute of it. Unfortunately, my teacher took ill and passed away and I was so busy in my career, I stopped taking lessons.

Two years ago, I retired and found a new teacher who I find inspirational. Why do I play. Quite simple... I have a passion for music and find playing very relaxing.
Posted By: Gyeo-wool

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 12/20/16 01:00 AM

I started playing piano when I was late 8 or 9.for almost 3 years I learned it but after that I had to quit for my own family reason.10 years later, I started to learn to play piano by myself(I was student but I worked) and have been studying still. well, there are lots of reasons I still play piano. many comics and books inspired me, and there are so many things Id love to learn! and so on.that some stuffs makes me keep going.
Posted By: RaggedKeyPresser

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 12/20/16 06:37 AM

Right now, I'm playing it because it is a good discipline for the mind and trains it to focus.
Also: Use it, or lose it.
You've got to always move forward.
Posted By: Falsch

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 12/20/16 03:55 PM

Hey, Tenuki.... do you play Go, by any chance?

(The Japanese Go term 'tenuki' means 'to play somewhere else', away from the main action on the board.)
Posted By: aokman

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 12/21/16 12:22 AM

I have always loved the piano and violin but never had the chance when I was a kid to learn other than a plastic recorder which didn't inspire me at all to study music unfortunately frown One day I realised as an adult, hey why the heck don't I learn now as there is nothing stopping me.

I have been battling with depression for about a year now and anxiety which has been getting worse from time to time and thought It would be a great way to try rewiring my brain and bring some change and challenge to my life, it has been a battle, especially with my lessons and getting a bit nervous and anxious about it but I am pushing through slowly smile

Posted By: TonyB

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 12/21/16 12:46 AM

Why do I play the piano?

What else would I do with it?

Tony

Posted By: joyoussong

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 01/01/17 07:28 PM

LOL!!! Tony, sometimes I feel that way - gets me through the days when I think it's hopeless!!
Posted By: TonyB

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 01/01/17 08:15 PM

Yes, sometimes it is good to just be practical about it. smile

Tony

Posted By: BWV846

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 01/02/17 01:45 AM

I play because I have loved classical music since I could barely walk and I was the only one in my family who really loved it...everyone in the family listened to popular music during the 1950s and 60s. They did not discourage me but they did really encourage me; I feel that at times I had to stick up for what I wanted. We were a poor family and could not afford to let me get lessons. Now I realize that may have been a blessing because of the type of teacher available in my town; my interests might have been too elevated. I may sound it but I am not trying to be too snobbish.

I taught myself to read music when in high school because I heard and immediately loved the sound of the recorder and then played a lot of Renaissance music into well into my 30s. I have some beautiful hand made instruments (soprano through bass) that I occasionally pick up and play.

When electronic keyboards became easily available with earphones I started to teach myself how to finger a keyboard and then use the library to find scores of pieces of music that I loved.

Now that I am on the other side of the keyboard I really enjoy listening to piano music for far longer periods of time than I had patience for in the past.

Of course the biggest thing in recent time is that I am taking piano lessons from a really great young conservatory trained musician who has opened my ears quite a bit by just being next to me and watching carefully while I try to figure what finger to use and when to use it. Still I am proud because he has said that I am his "most musical" student.

If the genie with three wishes came along I would want:
to be a concert pianist (at least for a time)
to conduct an orchestra (at least one good symphony cycle)
to compose some orchestral music that at least some people would like.

Now that I am retired, listening and playing music at the keyboard is an immense fulfillment and addition to my life. I think Jefferson said, "I cannot live without books." Well, I cannot live without music.
Posted By: Piano World

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 01/02/17 02:46 AM

Thanks for sharing Joseph, and every one else who has chosen to share with us why you play the piano.

I love hearing all the stories, regardless of if they are very short or more involved.
It is interesting to me to learn what path brought each of you to the piano.

A simple but telling example of how much I love the piano happened just yesterday when I took my Kathy (and her daughter) to a movie. We were running late, it was 12:18 and the movie started at 12:20 (well, the previews did).

We'd never been to this particular theater. I dropped the two girls off to get the tickets while I looked for a parking space.
When I walked into the lobby there was a baby grand in the middle.
I immediately walked up to it, realized the fallboard was up and there they were, 88 lovely keys just begging me to play them. So I did.
Kathy said to Kerry "I knew he'd go right to the piano".
Yes, I always go right to the piano, I can't resist. I'm drawn to it like a moth to a flame.
I could no more walk away from that piano without playing something than I could walk away without breathing.

I'm not a great pianist, heck I'm not even a good pianist. But I love it so much I can't even explain it.

So please, keep the stories coming.
I'd love to hear ... Why Do YOU Play the Piano?

Posted By: Music Me

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 01/02/17 04:26 PM

BMV846-
I am very soon to retire and look forward to having all the time I want to dedicate tot he library of music I want to learn. This is only one goal amongst many regarding playing. Just like you, this is an immense fulfillment and addition to my life.
Posted By: Timmytee

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 01/03/17 01:38 AM

Hi,
I play because it is fun. I'm 54 and retired, now I have some time so I started lessons in September. I can almost play Jingle Bells without sheet music. woohoo!
There's satisfaction in the challenge, in the journey. I was forced into lessons as a kid, rebelled after a few months and never touched a piano again until Sept, 2016.
Someday I'm going to play "Faust" by Paul Williams, from the movie "Phantom of the Paradise". And some jazz - Ramsey Lewis. And Yanni... (And, and, and all those other guys pieces)
Also it's good for the brain and soul, keeps dementia away, makes you happy, smarter, and I look at the piano and it says "play". I have to obey.

Cheers,

Tim
Posted By: BillTheSlink

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 01/07/17 03:52 AM

The reason for me playing is actually very frightening. I am only 41 and am already declining cognitively. The doctor said it could be early onset dementia. It could also be just not challenging my brain with different stimuli. I was just pretty much surfing the net endlessly all day everyday and watching a ton of YouTube videos and reading books by the dozen as I am disabled and don't work. I couldn't understand at first why the doctor said I wasn't being challenged as all the stuff I was doing was educational, but the doctor explained I need to do something totally different than what I was doing so my brain could develop more connections. I was given the options of like pottery, ceramics, art classes, learning a foreign language, or taking up a new instrument. I have all the "artsy" talent of a tree stump so I know arts and crafts was out of the question. I can't even draw a stick man that looks half-way decent. I told the doctor I already played trumpet and asked if that would work. She said no it had to be a new to me instrument. I had to do something because #1. If Social Security finds you didn't follow doctor's orders over the simplest of things they will take away your benefits saying you're non-compliant. #2 I watched my Grandpa die of some unknown neurological decline resembling Alzheimer's (but they said it was not that 100% they didn't know what it was) and I can promise you I am not going out like that. The final straw came when I couldn't find my wallet and I was tearing the house apart looking for it and it was found in the freezer and I have absolutely no memory of putting it there. Since I have started learning piano there has been a massive turnaround in my memory and problem solving and I have only been playing a month. I really hope this buys me some time because when I see my brain is going and I will soon be to sick to do it I am putting the .357 mag right behind the ear and pulling the trigger. It isn't a prospect I relish at all and I know it's a cowards way out, but like I said I saw it first hand and to me it is a fate worse than death.
Posted By: Medved1

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 01/14/17 07:35 PM

I hope the good news keeps coming for you, and I am sure I speak for many. But you can count on support here on good news days and bad news days.
Posted By: Ralphiano

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 01/15/17 07:28 PM

BillTheSlink, I hope you stay with us and get a lot of enjoyment and benefit from the piano. There is much to do here at PianoWorld, and the group is very supportive. From your brief description above, it sounds like your doctor wants you participating and learning, not merely watching. So, jump in and join in. There is much to do here, and you will be a welcome addition to our group.
Posted By: Mike1593

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 01/15/17 10:43 PM

I just started playing the piano last October and wish I had started when I was very young. I'll be 77 next April so that will probably limit the amount of time left to really learn this wonderful instrument.

I've played guitar most of my life and started the hammered dulcimer a couple of years ago after cancer therapy caused my hands to cripple to the point where I could not play the guitar.

Never had much musical training and decided to learn more about music theory. When I tried to relate the theory to the dulcimer, a friend suggested that the use of a small keyboard would probably make more sense than using the dulcimer. So I bought an inexpensive small one and to my surprise, I found that, even with my hands as they were, I could play it. I liked the sound and the fact that I could more easily relate the music notes to where the keys were on the keyboard than on the dulcimer.

I got to the point where I wanted a full 88 keyboard and bought a Kiwaii ES8 and could not be happier, love the sound. My wife has a friend who teaches piano and I have been taking classical lessons with her.

Probably will never make it to Carnegie Hall but will still enjoy the effort to get there.
Posted By: dogperson

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 01/15/17 11:53 PM

@Mike,

Welcome to the forum, and I love your story! Yes, there are few of us (any?) here that will make it to Carnegie Hall... but the journey to get there? A lot of fun and personally rewarding. The music, at every level, is enormously vast so we don't have to make the final destination.

To hear that you started the piano at 77 and taking lessons? Inspiring.
Posted By: Falsch

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 01/16/17 12:19 AM

@Bill: good look man; I hope you can hang in there. Losing my mental faculties, becoming blind or deaf, are my worst fears to be honest.

@Mike: That's wonderful smile I'd love my father to pick up something like piano as well. He's going to be 77 as well this year, and most of the time when I visit him he tells me he's bored. I'm afraid that is his own doing though, as he rejects any activity I suggest, except for making the occasional crossword.
Posted By: happyhacker

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 01/16/17 03:22 PM

In my retirement I want something to stretch my mind (learn the theory and learn to read scores) and the physical aspect esp. hand independence. So I'm learning Jazz piano.
Posted By: Goss

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 01/16/17 03:49 PM

Hello Bill

It can also be a state of mind resulting from illness, like your doctor suggests. Personally I have experienced such things very early in life - Crohn's disease emaciated me and from time to time it really lowers my thresholds..
My mother over the Christmas period also experienced something like this also - We were all very concerned, but as it turns out also due to a lack of stimulus and overal poor physical condition..

I hope you find pleasure and challenge!


Posted By: fofig

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 01/16/17 08:43 PM

So, Here I am... I started the piano the year I turned 40. I play the guitar as teenager but I really did not practice sufficiently. I was good at music theory as I am very much inclined toward math and science but I was a disaster for musicality.

I started with the piano for two main reasons.

Music making was missing in my life and once my life got on more stable track I wanted to spend my free time practicing and learning it. Piano attracted because for the fantastic sound and the opportunity it offers.

The second reason was because my daughter was growing fast and I wanted to have music in her life. So, I thought that the best situation for here would have been to have someone learning at the same time as her.

And so now she is playing since she was 4. Now almost 6, she has an amazing musicality and she is a good student. I don't know if she stick to it, but she has the best opportunities.

A guitarist friend of mine told me: "SO you want to become a typist...." oh how much you are wrong my good friend... I cannot play well, but I know now how much you are wrong.
Posted By: tussi635

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 01/16/17 10:00 PM

Jeg ble glad i piano som lita fordi naboen hadde et jeg fikk lov å låne til å klimpre på med små fingre. Etter det har jeg vært solgt. Men, fikk ikke leksjoner eller piano før jeg ble voksen, da stod det der! Til min bursdag! Gjett om jeg var glad! Kunne ikke spille, men jeg var med i et kor hvor en verdenskjent pianist og musiker underviste oss og jeg fikk time hos han. Dermed var det gjort. Akkurat nå har jeg ikke pianoet her hos meg, men venter på å få det hit.
Det er et merke ved navn Hellas og det har nydelig klang og flott å spille på.
Er sånn hobbypianist, for jeg er litt opp i årene men jeg er så glad i pianomusikk. Lytter ekstra når jeg hører kun et musikkstykke fremført av det.
Posted By: Piano World

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 01/16/17 10:05 PM

Originally Posted by tussi635
Jeg ble glad i piano som lita fordi naboen hadde et jeg fikk lov å låne til å klimpre på med små fingre. Etter det har jeg vært solgt. Men, fikk ikke leksjoner eller piano før jeg ble voksen, da stod det der! Til min bursdag! Gjett om jeg var glad! Kunne ikke spille, men jeg var med i et kor hvor en verdenskjent pianist og musiker underviste oss og jeg fikk time hos han. Dermed var det gjort. Akkurat nå har jeg ikke pianoet her hos meg, men venter på å få det hit.
Det er et merke ved navn Hellas og det har nydelig klang og flott å spille på.
Er sånn hobbypianist, for jeg er litt opp i årene men jeg er så glad i pianomusikk. Lytter ekstra når jeg hører kun et musikkstykke fremført av det.


For those who may be wondering (as I was), here is Google's attempt at translating the above...


I was fond of the piano as little because the neighbor had one I was allowed to borrow to strum on with small fingers. After what I've been sold.
However, not given lessons or piano until I was an adult, then stood there! For my birthday!
Guess if I was happy! Could not play, but I was a choir where a world famous pianist and musician taught us and I got an appointment with him. Thus, it was done. Right now I have no piano here with me, but waiting to get it here.
It is a brand by name Greece and it has lovely timbre and great to play.

Is like hobby pianist, for I am a bit up in years but I am so fond of piano music. Listens extra when I hear only a piece of music performed by it.

-------------------------------
- Frank B.
Posted By: peterws

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 01/16/17 11:13 PM

I only play the piano because of this site. I retired from Crematorium organ work, and . . . stopped. The recitals and everything else are great, and inspiring.
Posted By: RaggedKeyPresser

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 01/17/17 11:43 AM

Originally Posted by Piano World
Originally Posted by tussi635
Jeg ble glad i piano som lita fordi naboen hadde et jeg fikk lov å låne til å klimpre på med små fingre. Etter det har jeg vært solgt. Men, fikk ikke leksjoner eller piano før jeg ble voksen, da stod det der! Til min bursdag! Gjett om jeg var glad! Kunne ikke spille, men jeg var med i et kor hvor en verdenskjent pianist og musiker underviste oss og jeg fikk time hos han. Dermed var det gjort. Akkurat nå har jeg ikke pianoet her hos meg, men venter på å få det hit.
Det er et merke ved navn Hellas og det har nydelig klang og flott å spille på.
Er sånn hobbypianist, for jeg er litt opp i årene men jeg er så glad i pianomusikk. Lytter ekstra når jeg hører kun et musikkstykke fremført av det.


For those who may be wondering (as I was), here is Google's attempt at translating the above...


I was fond of the piano as little because the neighbor had one I was allowed to borrow to strum on with small fingers. After what I've been sold.
However, not given lessons or piano until I was an adult, then stood there! For my birthday!
Guess if I was happy! Could not play, but I was a choir where a world famous pianist and musician taught us and I got an appointment with him. Thus, it was done. Right now I have no piano here with me, but waiting to get it here.
It is a brand by name Greece and it has lovely timbre and great to play.

Is like hobby pianist, for I am a bit up in years but I am so fond of piano music. Listens extra when I hear only a piece of music performed by it.

-------------------------------
- Frank B.

Hi Frank,
I know Swedish as a first language, and also Norwegian quite well.
It's interesting to see the result of the Google translation, and it's doing a fair job actually.
At the same time, it demonstrates the importance of using clear and precise grammar in one's writing!
After what I can see, the computer algorithms are not to blame for some comical results grin
Posted By: Isabelle1949

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 01/24/17 02:34 PM

I play the piano because I love the sounds that come from that big beautiful machine. I've loved the piano as far back as I can remember, maybe the age of 34 or 5. My father was a pipe organ builder/repairman and also tuned pianos. We always had a complimentary piano in our home and my dad often played it. He couldn't read a lick of music but could play beautifully by ear. My grandfather was professor of piano at Newcomb College in New Orleans, manymany decade ago. I grew up in a piano family, unfortunately as far as my music educations goes, I was lost in the cracks. I taught myself to read music when I was about 36 and went on to take lessons years later. I just love to play the piano, whether I play good or bad. I'll never stop.
Posted By: RaggedKeyPresser

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 01/25/17 09:52 AM

You have music in your genes, Isabelle1949
Posted By: JanaAz

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 01/26/17 10:44 PM

My entire family played musical instruments and my hubby plays several himself. I never learned to read music and was never given the opportunity to learn an instrument. It has been a bucket list item for me to learn to read music and play,the piano for as long as I can remember.

I got a keyboard for Christmas a few years ago and didn't touch it for 8 months. I finally started taking lessons. Although I usually,pick,things up quickly, it's not happening with playing the piano. I stopped taking lessons "for the summer" and here it is almost February and I haven't started back on lessons.

Why do I play the piano....to fill an empty spot, and I guess it'll fill slowly at the rate I'm going. I need to find the joy in being awful and quit feeling incompetent when it takes me a while to get it.
Posted By: mary gregorio

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 01/28/17 03:18 AM

I play piano because it makes me feel great and relaxed. I have attended piano classes in my childhood. Last week, I enjoyed playing it outdoor using Encore Piano Moving services.
Posted By: pravinrocks

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 01/28/17 05:23 PM

I Learned Harmonium in childhood by observing my mom's teacher, Later I started playing Guitar by my own in my teenage days, I did that 4 years then came to know proper training will help me to improve, did RGT 8 grade meanwhile started teaching Guitar and released learning Piano will help me learning music theory better coz learning theory with Guitar can be confusing initially - because of 6 strings and many fret locations... I mean I got confused in my starting period. so slowly shifted to learning Piano then did Trinity Grade 5 and continuing... Now I teach Piano Online
Posted By: entrust

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 02/04/17 04:51 AM

I play the piano to learn how music works. I used to make sampled music so not everything is completely new to me, but I always hated that I couldn't flip the theme musically besides what sample had to offer. I always admired people who played on instruments and in my case learning piano is most beneficial as I'm able to use all sounds from my plugins and synthesizers. My current skill doesn't satisfy me as I was able to make better beats by using just mouse. Long story short I'm learning piano for the purpose of my beats. I want them to be rich, musical and to capture the feeling that I'm feeling.
Posted By: KOTA0323

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 02/05/17 01:38 AM

I play the piano because I love playing the piano.
Is there any other reason??
Posted By: tedkaz

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 02/06/17 06:27 PM

Passion for music drives my passion for playing, unlikely I will ever be a great player, but I still have those moments when I lose myself and say why can't I do that more often :-)
Posted By: Peakski

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 02/07/17 02:00 PM

For me it's very simple. I love the piano sound and always wished I could play it. Now I have the time and resources to give it my best shot (aged 49). I'll be more than happy if I can learn to play a few of my favourite tunes to a reasonable level and I really hope my 2 young girls will grow into it. My wife is also pretty keen to learn, so it will hopefully become a hobby for the whole family to enjoy. The challenge of learning is also a factor, but really it comes down to loving the sound of the piano and of course the actual music.
Posted By: Emily Thorn

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 02/11/17 02:46 PM

I play the piano because one day, I fell in love with it and just couldn't live without it.
When I was younger my father grew very sick and we couldn't afford me taking piano lessons.
After many tears I had gotten a keyboard but, without lessons, I quickly grew frustrated about my little improvement. After my father left and my mother, my sister and I moved into our new home I finally persuaded my mother and take piano lessons since November smile I even bought myself a digital piano in January smile
I practice everyday to, with a lot of luck, be able to study piano after school.
Posted By: nancyde

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 02/11/17 10:35 PM

Good for you Emily. I am glad you are filling your heart's desire. It seems to take a long time to see any real improvement (at least for me) but it is a wonderful journey.
Posted By: cmb13

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 02/15/17 05:58 PM

I'm playing for a few reasons. First, I have always loved music, at least since I was about 11 years old and my friend's father owned a stereo store in Westchester. That was in 1980. I began playing guitar in my 20's but realized that without singing, and without being in a band, guitar didn't sound full enough to me. Piano can be played without accompaniment and sound like a full instrument.

Aside from that, I have been using it as Dementia Prevention. My mother had dementia in her mid to late 60's. Realizing I have some of the genetics, I'm doing everything I can to prevent or at least delay it. As Bill stated above, piano specifically, and art and other cognitive activities in general, may help. Additionally, I eat really well, exercise, and challenge myself mentally as much as time allows. By improving blood flow to the brain, research has demonstrated that the symptoms may be less severe or occur later. My mother was very bright, but did not eat well or exercise at all. Who knows if it may have been different. One thing for certain is that medicines didn't do anything to help her.

My journey as a complete beginner a few years ago has taken me to a new appreciation for the world of music. I began as a Rock and Blues fan, but haven taken a lesson every two weeks for the past two to three years has taken me to jazz and now classical music. I've been playing Autumn Leaves, Misty, All The Things You Are, and recently began Moonlight Sonata (1st mvmt). It's rather sad, actually, how few of my contemporaries (45-50 years old) know anything about the world of classical music - but that's for a different thread.
Posted By: Semei

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 02/28/17 03:37 AM

Because the piano is there!
Posted By: oscar1

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 03/03/17 04:44 PM

I assume my story would be the polar opposite of most people here.

Lot of people in my family played piano (some even as conservatory piano teachers) and as a child I remember I wanted to play piano very much. In fact I remember as a 1st grader I subscribed myself to piano lessons when the teachers came to promote it in my class, and was extremely looking forward to it.
But my parents said very resolute no (mostly because of their own bad experience ? or they didn't want to look for piano or something like that) and so I never get to go to any lessons. :-( or to actually play any instrument since neither my primary nor secondary school had any instruments to teach. Literally zero. (in fact there was absolutely no art or music class in my secondary education at all) So I never learned to read notes. My parents also mysteriously claimed and joked that I am tone deaf...
Instead they signed me for an art class after school. (I did like it BTW, it was great fun, superb teacher and got some awards and such)

So as soon as I became independent from my parents which was in my late university years I tried to learn to play on everything that could make a sound, all by myself. I now play guitar, violin and keyboard. I even made few instruments by myself, including violin, few acoustic guitars, hammered dulcimer...
But because of the 20 years wasted, I advance slowly (and also don't have that much time). The old brain tries to fight back on any new info. I am to this day jealous of people who got a good music education from their early years... but maybe it is just my apology for not working too hard.
Posted By: SpinelleRouge

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 03/03/17 10:52 PM

For the love of it. It's meditative and therapeutic for me.
Posted By: HJKMusic

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 03/08/17 12:04 AM

This is my first post here, I loved reading why you are playing the piano. Here's why I do it!

I started playing piano at eight years old. I was playing at a friend's place and they had a piano.
I sat down there and pressed some keys. Now it just so happened that the father of the friend I was with, was a piano teacher. So he gave me an easy piece to play. Sadly, I can't remember what it was.
However, I can remember that I absolutely loved that experience. So I ran home afterwards and asked my parents if I could get piano lessons from my friend's father.
Luckily they thought it was a good idea. And here I am, ten years later. I am still in love with the piano, I play at party's, I write my own music, I put music videos out on Youtube and now I'm even on a piano forum! wink

It's great to see so many enthusiasts and I really look forward to learning from and contributing to this forum!
Posted By: sharkeyboard

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 03/10/17 12:59 PM

I play the piano because loads of my favourite songs to listen to have a decent piano component to them and I like the fact that I can play more complete songs (melody, base, harmony, etc) whereas many other instruments are more limited in their range.
Posted By: Bachus

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 03/27/17 09:11 AM

I used to play music because its fun and creative..

But these days under heavy stress at work, i really need to play the piano, because its a stress relieve valve, its better then any other therapy against the stress of the daily life.. put your headset on enter the lovely world of music and forget..

After an hour or sometimes 2, i feel reborn.
Posted By: JayWalkingBlues

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 03/28/17 04:42 PM

I play for so many reasons.....I play for therapy, i play to keep my mind engaged, I play for the love of the music, I play to improve myself, and I play to share music with anyone that wants it.
Posted By: Herr Rentz

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 03/31/17 03:51 PM

My mother and my great uncle both played. My great uncle was very good at ragtime and old standards from the 30's and 40's which to me was very intricate and melodic to listen to.

I first remember climbing up on a piano bench with my mom at around the age of four, but I don't really remember attempting to play until around the age of six.

I started off playing by ear the songs that we learned in grade school because I had no music for it and did not know how to read music at that age.

In fourth grade we were allowed to sign up to learn an instrument having first learned how to play a flute-o-phone in third grade. This taught me to read music and I selected the trumpet to learn to play and used what I knew about learning to read music for the piano.

Years later I took formal private lessons and then again for two years in college.
Posted By: Lisa23

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 04/02/17 03:39 PM

Hi there! I'm new here... I'd like to share with you the reason why I play the piano. When I was a child, I could listen from my home a neighbour (a woman), playing the piano. I was obsessed with that wonderful sound. It wasn't often, only sometimes. I began asking my mum a piano, but I never had it. Not possible, many other things were necessary. I did completely different things in my life, and I totally forgot the piano. Until 3 years ago a colleague accidentally remembered something about my old passion (I once had talked to her about it), and told me about the opportunity to make a selection to enter a local music school. I decided to have a try, not believing much in it, actually. On that day, I found out that I was one of two or three adults, the other being very young people, and I was thinking all the time "I don't know anything, what am I doing here?". I had luck, anyway. It was the start of a wonderful adventure. I cannot imagine my life without playing the piano. Sorry for my bad English.
Posted By: ukkelo

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 04/09/17 03:05 AM

My answer to why I play piano is to get rid of my aggressions. I need a loud playing instrument like the Yamaha SU-118 to get rid of my neighbors. A supreme instrument, putting most grand pianos in shame, moved countless times like its player and still in tune. Not on sale at any price!

My parents were elementary school teachers with high hopes of the musical talent of their only son. I had a loud, but a hard to control voice with no talent with instruments like strings or horns. Instead, I liked the Galicia piano with decisive keys to strike to get a certain sound.

Anyway, at soon 67, I've still more to learn than teach!
Posted By: chissho

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 04/10/17 02:26 PM

Why do I play the piano-good question. One is because I can (sort of). Started ff as child about 10/11 years old. did it for a few years then packed in for errmm about 45 years.
Anyway-decided a few years ago to get a keyboard. A Yamaha DGX 340-it wasn't good. Played from music books what I could remember to sight read and after a few years decided to have lessons.Took ABRSM grade 2 in 2012 vowed never again.Last week took Grade 3 but have failed due to extreme nervousness. Might try again after a hypnosis course or something.

I enjoy it as a hobbyist-wishing I was better but think it will take years. I also enjoy the Tyros 5 keyboard my piano is a CVP 605 both Yamaha products.

Its a good release when I get cross to play Bach Toccata from Alfreds piano book-somehow it keeps me sane.
Posted By: Aloyah

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 04/16/17 11:06 PM

I had lessons because my mum always wanted her children to play a musical instrument as she never had the opportunity. My brother had organ lessons at a Yamaha centre. I had piano lessons because my paternal grandparents gave my aunt's old Bechstein to our family. My aunt was a piano teacher herself but left the country and passed on all her students to her friend. Her friend was my piano teacher and we must have got mates rates as my dad would leave me there for hours. Other people would come and go and I would just wait it out doing past theory exam papers. Her collection was extensive as she had papers from the 1950s and I had lessons in the 80s. Many, many years of past papers for me to work on. She got me all the way through to ABRSM grade 5 piano and grade 6 theory. We moved countries soon after my grade 6 theory exam and I never really gelled with my new teacher.

I gave up having lessons at 16 after my grade 6 piano exam as I knew grade 7 would be much harder and I just didn't feel it with my new teacher. Never did find another teacher as school and university kept me occupied. It's now 27 years later and I suddenly have this very strong urge to maybe finish off my exams. My scales are wonky, my fingers are weak and my ability to read music is also a bit questionable now. And when I look at what's on the current ABRSM syllabus, it all looks quite strange like a foreign language but I clearly must have understood it a long time ago as I did the exams and passed. We have a Clavinova CLP430 at home that my mum gifted my children a few years ago so that's what I play. Maybe when I get better I can look into getting an acoustic. So here I am at nearly 43, practising my scales and looking back at my old collection of music books to see what I can still play.
Posted By: my58vw

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 04/20/17 02:45 PM

Most of the traditional instruments are best played in a group, and require you to go to group practices and then perform in groups. I wanted an instrument that I could enjoy myself without the pressure of performing all the time, and challenge myself. Music has always been a big part of my life, and I love the classical choices that piano brings...

Plus it releases stress!
Posted By: CenterMast

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 04/20/17 09:05 PM

I love the emotions I get listening to and playing music. It's a big ol chemical release in my brain.
Posted By: genghis khan

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 04/22/17 03:38 PM

This is my first post and the reason I registered in this forum is to read reviews of digital pianos. I am definitely looking for a good sounding 88-key digital piano under a $1,000 that I can practice. I have been to music stores and by leaps and bounds portable digital pianos have greatly improved and nearing the actual acoustic level of feel and tone.

I can no longer remember if wanting to play the piano was my own choice or was it my parents’ as part of my upbringing and education. Anyway, I was enrolled in a piano class to go along with my education. I learned to read notes (solfege) and play the piano based on notes. It was what you call a forced learning similar to learning and recognizing letters in the alphabet in order to read and write. Although I like to hear songs and music, I do not consider myself musical. Then, I played Chopin, Mozart, etc. classical piano pieces as part of my piano lessons. However, I cannot play piano by ear nor can I accompany a singer with it.

Actually, I belong to the audience category in music who simply likes to hear and see performers do their thing like I enjoy seeing and listening to Sarah Brightman and Sierra Boggess in Phantom at the Opera stage presentations and other gigs. I have, however, a collection of songs and music I want to play in the piano for my wife and hopefully rekindle romance for the once hopelessly romantic via piano key strains.
Posted By: my58vw

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 05/02/17 07:05 AM

I play piano because my entire life has always been music, and piano is the first instrument that I have discovered can be played for my own enjoyment without needing any additional support (from a band, orchestra, etc).

I play the piano because I find it constantly challenging me to make myself better, and there is always another piece in the nearly endless library of classical period (romantic, baroque, modern) to learn and perform.

I play because it is an emotional release, something I can enjoy without judging from others, and without care in the world (well except the downstairs neighbors of I play at 2:00AM)

I play piano because of all the instruments I have played (oboe, low brass, mallet percussion, drums) piano allows me to express my own emotions.

I play piano because I love music, and playing piano is fun!
Posted By: Trampy

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 05/03/17 07:29 AM

Its funny I spent about 30 minutes trying to compose a reply that explains why I play the piano - and then realised the reason why I was having such difficulty answering the question.

The real answer is "I don't play the piano"

I had lessons when I was a teenager, and I have a piano which I practice/play on.

But if you asked me to play something for you, I wouldn't have one piece in my repertoire that I could play all the way through.
I have several pieces that I could barely stumble through, and then some "fragments" of pieces that i've started and then not had the discipline to polish. I can't sight read and can't play lead sheet.

So I suppose the real question for me is "Why do I want to play the piano".
That's easy - i fell in love with the instrument when my father first exposed me to Chopin, Liszt, Rachmaninoff and all the other usual suspects when I was about 6 years old (i'm now 54).
For me, "playing the piano" now means having the discipline to learn and polish some repertoire so I can play something that someone might one day listen to and think "do you know - that fellow can play the piano"
Posted By: patH

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 05/07/17 02:01 PM

Why do I play the piano?

Because it's fun. smile

This reply got inspired by the relaxation thread, where some poster said some bad things about having fun. wink

Posted By: Ralph L.

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 05/10/17 11:17 PM

-whenever I hear song with good piano accompaniment, I wish I could play it
-feeling of achievement when I'm able to play a piece after practicing , more so when I pass a grade
-most of the time enjoy the practice itself too
-set example for my kid
Posted By: Hebrer

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 06/08/17 04:25 AM

Music is an entry point to a world of harmony and emotions, powerful enough to take me from both mentally and emotionally from work and other duties. Even a few minutes of listening to pieces by Ludovico Einaudi is transformative for me.

Growing up in a family where no one ever played any musical instrument, I was just a passionate listener for many years and came to discover piano actively only after I turned 40 and only after tried classical guitar first.

Without a teacher but trying out all kinds of apps, I experimented at first but the turning point came with the books I read from W.A. Mathieu that really helped me open up to active experimentation with sounds and music.

Having learned to read music first in my classical guitar lessons (much simpler for me with only treble clef), I recently discovered Haostaff notation of music which has allowed me to try and learn play piano pieces well beyond my current ability.

Finally, another reason I sit down to play piano for my own pleasure every day that I do not travel is my daughter (age 8) because she loves to play and brings her enthusiasm and playfulness into her playing which is contagious.
Posted By: BRUCE ROSS MORGAN

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 06/17/17 01:57 AM

Why I play the piano .
By twelve years old I realized I was hearing music all the time ...even when there was silence .
My mom was an Actress -Yvonne De Carlo she was constantly rehearsing her nightclub act and
she had a "piano room "
So I got up the nerve to sit at the piano one day in my childhood.

The first time I sat at the piano and every time since then ,
I composed a piece of music to go along with my impressions .

In that first case it was music for my feelings towards a school girl
who I liked .
The piece is very old fashion as is my old fashion idea of romance.

So I play piano to make music to match my feelings.
The best themes happen accidentally during warm up .
Composing music "by accident " is something like magic to me .
Now I am composing music to score my Science Fiction Series "Project Lodestar Sagas"
Cheers
Bruce
Posted By: Music for you

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 06/30/17 09:39 AM

I'm 80+ now so it could be a long story but I'll keep it brief. My Mother played the piano and my Dad played alto sax and they played together indoors and in a dance band. I was therefore put to the piano when I was 6 during the last war.

I found that I could soon remember the tunes and play them without the music which was severely frowned upon in those days. I remember being able to play the Warsaw Concerto well before I was 9. However by the time I was 13 I told my Dad I was fed up with the music teacher because she wouldn't let me play the modern tunes of the day, so I finished that and bought the new music in Woolworths.

At the youth club I soon found that I could attract the girls when I played the piano which is what kept me going. But then a chap asked me if I would like to play in a band and my life changed when the guitarist introduced me to chord sequencing. I became a semi-pro at 16 playing in most of the London East-end pubs learning my trade. I also taught myself the alto sax and still play both instruments commercially today. I ran the dance band in the RAF and had a lifetime of fun and satisfaction from music.

I did teach keyboard and have developed my Daughter along the same lines and she is taking over from me.
I one thing I encourage all musicians to do is the busk if they can - it is a gift that few can achieve.
Brian
Posted By: Kristina1

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 07/02/17 05:13 PM

Hello Brian and many thanks you for your very inspiring post above.
... I myself started to play the piano after I suffered a severe stroke, which left me half-sided-paralyzed and my husband thought learning to play the piano might be a good idea to "get me going" again and he was right. He first bought me a little electric piano and I was sitting there for hours trying out all sorts of little tunes and my arms and hands began slowly moving again without me even noticing, because I concentrated so much on the music. It was a perfect way for me to rehabilitate from the stroke. And then one day we visited a "bric-a-brac" exhibition and there we saw it: a very old forte-piano with a lovely harp-tonality for the "high" tones and plenty of wonderful "growling" for the deeper tones and the pianoforte also has a very light touch, which suits me perfectly. Whilst we first listened to it, we both noticed that it was love at first tone and it has been ours ever since. Whilst living in a small apartment/flat in a major city, one has to consider the neighbours and fortunately our piano is not loud at all and there have been no complaints. I must add here that I have a very "soft touch" when playing the piano and with its beautiful harp-like-sound, it has inspired me to specialize in "old music" like pieces from a copy of Anne Cromwell's Virginal Book 1638,Thurston Dart's Edition of the Fitzwilliam Virginal Book, lots of J.S Bach, Friedemann Bach, F. Couperin etc.
Why do I continue to play the piano? Because it feels great to play wonderful pieces of music which my husband and I would normally have no chance to listen to. It is also satisfying to be able and discover wonderful tonal pieces of music which are not played anymore and it is wonderful to try different ways of playing unheard pieces whilst trying to figure out how the composer might have meant it and what the composer tried to convey etc.
Last not least ... I also had to learn read music from scratch and feel very lucky that now I can play new pieces directly from a new score and that is just wonderful.
Kristina.
Posted By: Albunea

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 07/02/17 06:26 PM

A couple of thrilling posts, Brian and Kristina. smile
Posted By: RuthF

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 07/19/17 07:31 AM

Why do I play? Many reasons, but let's stick to one.

I'm an adult learner and never thought I'd be able to cope with piano. Mum tried teaching me when I was little, but I wasn't having any of it. The biggest hurdle was learning bass clef having learnt 3 instruments in a different clef (violin, recorder and viola).

But then I saw the 1948 film 'Roadhouse' and Ida Lupino wandering casually up to a piano and starting to play 'One for my baby' and just so wanted to be able to do that. (Well naturally I'd also like be that glamorous and that talented!) Three years later and I'm up to Grade IV but still can't yet play 'One for my baby'. But it's fun, I think it's good for the brain, I'm discovering lots more music and composers I'd never heard of (Kabalevsky for one) and I just hope that one day I'll be able to sit at a public piano and play something.

Ruth
Posted By: Bruce Humphrey

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 07/23/17 08:09 PM

I don't play piano... yet. When I was a kid I took music classes: notes, arpeggios, flute, etc. At home we had a kids Hammond Organ (but it was a real instrument but smaller than the normal ones) and fooled around with it. Then I never paid more attention to music until many years later, staying at a friends house in Ibiza. She was playing keyboards in a pop band then. That was for my 36th birthday, almost 10 years ago, I saw a documentary on Jaco Pastorius, the great bass player. He was killed on a September 21st, at 35 years of age.It was my 36th birthday, September, so something went click in my head, I phoned a cousin who is a pro bass player in LA and Canada, and asked for tips. Got a nice second hand bass, started fooling around, got a wonderful teacher who was mainly a jazz guy, and joined a mainly Deep Purple covers band.Then got my dream bass (Rickenbacker).

For a short time we had a great classical trained keyboard player, but he left the band. Maybe 5 years ago, that was. Just then I bought and old second hand Yamaha PSR500 synth keyboard, very cheap as it had some dead keys, and subscribed to an online piano course... and practiced for two-three weeks before a small martial arts injury (a freak injury between the annular and little right-hand fingers that the sports doctor that attended me said was really uncommon) took me out of piano practicing for ever (until now). When I came back to the bass one-month later, I had to play with my two fingers tied together so they didn't move at all. It took me long months to recover, and when I did, I had completely forgotten about playing piano.

Now I play bass on a rock power trio (non-professionals, we play mostly at biker events, May have 6-10 gigs a year tops). We play our own stuff, plus 4-5 covers. We have band practice once a week.

The other day (last Thursday) I was watching a stupid film on TV (the shooter), and there is a scene where the bad guy plays piano (why is it so common in movies, bad guys, playing piano??) And my old want to play piano/keyboard flame was rekindled, but this time very strongly. It was late at night already on a work day, but I know myself, so I had to pay attention to it: I started looking for keyboards on Amazon, and there is a nice cheap Yamaha PSR-F51 there... but no USB, and I will want to record, so I started digging and found recommendations to use hammered keys (like a real piano, so you can play on an acoustic one if you can some day), and to get something a bit more decent, around €400 at least. So I saw the Yamaha P-45, and searched for that vs Casio PX-160 and found a great post in this site comparing basic under $1000 88 keys hammered keyboards. So started liking the more expensive ones, which I cannot currently afford, then recalled (aye, hadn't even remembered I had it until 2 hours of internet digging between here, Amazon, Thomann...) I have the old Yamaha PSR500 stuck in a cupboard... found how to fix it in this site and other places, and I'm now waiting for compressed air from Amazon, and will start the process once it gets here. I do hope I can fix it, then I can get some practice whilst saving for a better keyboard.

My ideal is Geddy Lee, from Rush, who plays bass and keyboards. But of course, my bass playing is average, second-rate, years behind him, and my non-existing keyboard/piano play is eons. But, I play for fun, so that really doesn't worry me. (edit: but curiously enough, the songs I want to learn on piano are classical such as Pachelbel Canon in D, Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata, etc)

Maybe it is from the bass, where in finger play the thumb is not used except to hold the bass, or maybe because I'm a programmer, and the thumb is only used for pressing space if at all, but fooling around with proper finger placing on elemental songs on the piano, etc, (on a pad app) I'm finding that the most difficult part for me is using them thumbs. My 'instinct' is not to use them at all. But I see they are logical to use. Yep, that's how newbie I am!!! This week I've mainly practiced sight-reading, as I kid I could read simple sheets, and been looking at different apps to see if I can learn something. I'm trying to follow a counsel I read: better play every day 30 minutes than 3 hours one day.

I'm not expecting to have any more freak martial arts injuries.

Posted By: DiarmuidD

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 08/08/17 12:56 AM

It's a complete escape for me. All encompassing. Like reading a good book. It demands your full attention to have any hope of playing well. And so it removes you, albeit temporarily, from the onslaught of the modern world. The internet. Twitter. Email. Iphones. Modern mental chewing gum. The piano is more.
Posted By: nancyde

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 08/08/17 03:06 PM

DiarmuidD--very well said. This is exactly true--the piano is a safe refuge.
Posted By: TheAverageGuy

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 08/27/17 10:52 PM

I am trying to get back into things. I want to get my life sorted first before I seriously start anything. But the reason why I want to get back into piano, is because there are songs I want to play. To me, their beautiful or playful, and when I see other people play those songs, I imagine the feeling of the keys as each note is pressed. I want to experience what I believe they experience. The energy of the piece, the emotions that flow through you from it, that's what I want to feel. Another reason is that when I grow up, and get married, and have children, I want to play songs for them, and hopefully make their days brighter with it. A different one that's a little bit grim is for the case that I die. If I die early, what do I want my children to remember of me? Sure, maybe I spent moments with them, playing games and having fun, but that's not memorable. Playing beautiful music on the other hand, that's memorable. That's what my kids would remember if I ended up in my grave a little too early.
Posted By: dobro

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 08/28/17 03:40 PM

The kids will remember if you left them anything first, then the piano thing.
Posted By: dogperson

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 08/28/17 04:13 PM

Originally Posted by carolinakeys
The kids will remember if you left them anything first, then the piano thing.


Maybe this shouldn't be a blanket statement about what children will remember: what is important to me is not what my parents left me in their wills, but the memorable events: my dad teaching me to ride a horse and to get back on it when thrown, the joy on his face by hearing me play a violin for the first time, (how could he find joy in that?) the 'life lessons' and the sharing. That is what has mattered!

If a child remembers what is WILLED to them FIRST rather than what was part of the childhood--- I feel sorry for them as the emphasis is on what is not important
IMHO, as always
Posted By: hoasjoe

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 09/01/17 02:24 AM

Took a few lessons at a young age. Didn't get anywhere and quit. Enrolled in music class in high school. Got into playing with the school band in the strings section and got stuck with the violin. Once the teacher asked the students to do a group project on a composer. Our group of 4 went to the library and got a book on J.S. Bach. And then we got a sound recording of the French Suite #3 performed with a harpsichord for the class presentation. Enjoyed listening to "Minuet & Trio" especially. Back then considered playing piano to be too difficult and wouldn't dream of playing even an easy piece. A violin (like a flute) involves reading just the Treble Clef.

Once went to a 1h seminar with Scott Houston who later started in the PBS series: "Scott the Piano Guy" and "Piano in a Flash". Scott doesn't get into Classical music and tend to steer people away from sheet music with the Bass Clef to playing Pop songs with Lead Sheets. Didn't think an hour-long presentation would be enough to learn even the basics but decided to buy a keyboard anyway. Didn't enroll in a music program or learn with a teacher until later. Knew the basics of note reading from playing violin.

Had a lot of ups & downs in life. During times of depression found playing piano / keyboard to be a lifesaver. Over the years continued to play violin with a music group but devoted a lot of time to playing the keyboard at home. Eventually played all 6 movements of the French Suite #3 from "Allemande" to "Gigue" including "Minuet & Trio".

Coming from a family of non-musicians, others in the family think there are more important things in life everybody should focus on like advancing your career. Nobody would talk about music at family gatherings like it is a taboo subject. However, playing music on a piano is very much acceptable and encouraged in my culture. Just that the rest of the family doesn't think anybody should spend too much time playing music unless he/she is a professional musician.
Posted By: ArtlessArt

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 09/01/17 08:01 AM

I learned guitar initially to pick up chicks, then branched off to piano. Now piano is my main and preferred instrument and I've landed myself a wife. To me, the piano is more 'graceful' whilst guitar is more 'cool'.

Never had a teacher or opportunity to play when I was young. Now as an adult, i enjoy piano as a hobby and the challenge of learning new pieces.
Posted By: hoasjoe

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 09/04/17 10:19 AM

I've read a lot of reports on the health benefits of playing music on the brain. Took a few lessons at age 5 but didn't click. In my mid-30s restarted. The health benefits didn't cross my mind as much as playing music is an activity that is acceptable and encouraged in my culture. In the old days (before the 1970s) many people smoked and didn't live a long life. By the time they get to their 70s & 80s they would be gone so the words Dementia & Alzheimer doesn't usually come up in a conversation.

In my culture, there is a lot of emphasis on respecting your elders, teachers and people of authority. Someone like myself wouldn't get into playing piano / keyboard without a teacher. And then there is the expectation of someone starting at a young age and worked hard to become a professional.

When I was younger I was like many teens who attended school week after week with no future plans. Just finish school then decide what to do later. Had a music teacher in high school for violin. The teacher once said piano is a good second instrument because you can learn all the music theory and play chords easily. Took his advice but thought that piano is too difficult because you need to read the Bass Clef and play 2 hands at sync. Back in high school liked listening to a few pieces played with a piano but had no expectations of ever trying to play them. Took many years before I was ready to give piano / keyboard a try.

With uploaded music readily available, it is much easier to start learning to play. Wouldn't turn the clock back to my younger days and regret what might happen if I had pushed myself to work harder and make something out of playing piano. A few years ago submitted a video to a piano playing contest hosted by a local broadcast station playing 1 piece of Classical music for 3 minutes. The point was to share my passion of music with hundreds of amateur pianists who also submitted their performances. 20 years ago couldn't see myself ever playing a piano / keyboard every week. Now I can't see myself not playing for a week.

Just like to focus on the future and learn many pieces along the way. Never look back at what you didn't accomplish in the past. Let bygone be bygone. People and circumstances change...
Posted By: Fryloc

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 10/01/17 04:25 PM

My mom bought a piano when I was very young. She showed me middle c and the other notes on the scale. I later learned how to read music in grade school where we had a music class and played recorders. Neither of my two brothers nor I ever really learned to play that piano, rather we'd set up a tape recorder and pound away on the keys, pretending it was some hit classical piece we wrote. In fifth grade I took up saxophone and played for the next eight years, putting it away after graduation since none of my friends played any instruments. After high school I really didn't play much of anything, even though I dabbled in guitar, clarinet, and trumpet. Then my brother in law gave me an old worn out, beat up, out of tune 100 year old upright that was in his barn for untold years. Keytops falling off, veneer peeling, hammer shanks broken, etc, but all the strings minus one were intact, the broken string and missing hammers were in the highest octave. It was also a half step flat pretty evenly across the keys, and I didn't want to trash a piano that survived almost a decade, so I took it home to restore. Silly me... But it did resurrect my interest in piano, and since my daughters like to sit and push the keys, (actually they both show interest in whatever instrument I decide to play) well why not show them how to play? Besides, it isn't uncommon to find pianos elsewhere, other family members, chur he's, schools, heck sometimes you can find them on the sidewalk in front of businesses, and wouldn't it be fun to knock out a song or two?

Btw, one of my regrets is not continuing my music playing after high school.
Posted By: sue_deutscher

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 11/04/17 06:00 PM

It keeps the monkeys out of the lion cage.
Posted By: RaggedKeyPresser

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 11/04/17 07:46 PM

I bought mine new and I still haven't been able to wear it out.
The keys don't even look worn.
Posted By: Muhwu

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 11/06/17 01:21 AM

I have multitude of reasons, but basically I played the keyboard when I was in grammar school, but I always fancied a piano. I also always thought piano was by far the coolest instrument, because you're basically playing the roles of multiple instruments (I'm not big on being the accompanist personally). I also thought people playing fast stuff like metal (with keyboard) or flight of the bumblebee with piano was the coolest thing ever. However, after grammar school I didn't have access to an instrument and no time nor enough ambition to pursue this path further.

Fast forwarding 25 years, some negative personal events finally made me take the leap and getting my own and starting off virtually from scratch (with some knowledge into reading sheet music but only the basics). I used it as a form of therapy one could say (still do), since it helps one detach from worries of the real world and channel those feelings into music. The only regret I have is that I did not get an instrument before now.

2 years in, I'm progressing fast (or I'd like to think so) with a help of a teacher and looking to buy my first baby grand soon. smile
Posted By: thepianoplayer416

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 11/15/17 04:31 AM

Like most people, the love of music definitely...

Being brought up in a non-musical family, everybody had taken some music lessons and dreaded the weekly sessions that were treated like academic exercises.

There was always music in the house off recordings including anything from Beethoven, Mozart, Haydn & Elton John. In my younger days nobody really think they can play songs on a piano. Took up violin in high school. We had a group of 4 students in music class who did a project on the composer Bach. For the class demo, went to the library and got a recording of the French Suite #3 performed on a harpsichord. It was never a dream to even attempt to play a movement out of the 6 French Suites. For many years thought it would be too difficult to get the 2 hands to coordinate.

Once met Scott Houston at a 1h piano playing seminar showing people how to play simple tunes on a keyboard before he because the host of 2 PBS shows "Scott the Piano Guy" & "Piano in a Flash". Decided to get a keyboard and never stopped playing since. The reason for getting seriously into playing music was due to some traumatic events that happened 10 years ago. Music (playing the piano in particular) became my way of relieving stress. It is a personal expression that I don't have to live my life like other people. I was brought up in a close extended family. Many relatives had taken music lessons but don't get into music to the same degree that they would play everyday.

personal recordings
Posted By: Pianist@Heart

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 11/29/17 08:50 PM

Hi,
I first started taking lessons when I was in 7th grade. When I was first taking lessons and doing a recital every year I loved performing. After one of my recitals I said to myself that I always want playing the piano in my life. Well I stopped for a few years and then I started taking lessons again. Then I stopped again. Now I want to play and learn even more. I appreciate playing even more now. It is amazing when you can really feel the music.I was nervous before I performed but once I got on stage it was just me and that piano. Also it is really something when you can take your love of playing and pass it on to someone else. I taught my nephew for 2 years and it was a true blessing.
Posted By: Tootles

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 12/09/17 04:45 PM

My husband inspired me to learn piano (at age 62!!!)

We met as clarinetist in the Army Band in 1976. He was fresh out of college with a music composition degree and had played a little piano as a kid. I was fresh out of high school eager to play music for a living. He lasted 3 years, I lasted 9 years, then we both went back to school and got non-musical jobs.

Fast forward maybe 10 years ago, and the hubby got interested in piano again. He played on an electric keyboard for a while, then for his Christmas present I borrowed an upright Wurlitzer from church and won him some piano lessons in a silent auction. Over the next five years or so, he upgraded to a Yamaha and then to a Bechstein grand he rebuilt. He found a great teacher and as his skills got better we started playing music together again (him on the piano and me on the Recorder, which is similar to the clarinet but much easier to play). It brought back some wonderful feelings.

When the hubby retired and took a 5 month solo hiking trip, I picked up my clarinet again and started playing with a community band. When he got back, we started playing together -- with him on the piano and me on the clarinet. While I loved, loved, loved, that experience, that isn't want got "me" interested in learning the piano.

When the hubby turned 62, he decided to go back to school under our state's free tuition program, and he enrolled as a piano performance major. He was a little tentative about this to start with because he didn't think he would ever be able to meet the requirement that he memorize music, but to his surprise he did.

Over night, it seems, our home took on the flavor of a music conservatory. With hubby practicing piano in one room and me practicing clarinet in the other room, it was (and is) just so cool to hear music for hours on hours throughout the day.

Then one day the hubby brought home the piano books he was using to teach a student as part of his pedagogy class. He said his student wanted to learn, "Heart & Soul." He played it once for me and I instantly remembered the snappy little tune. I said I wanted to learn it too, so he wrote out the fingerings and gave me a lesson. I half-way played at it for a while, but when I finally retired last month, I decided to take a go at the piano with all of my Heart & Soul. So now my hubby is teaching me the piano and I'm lovin' it!

I'm in my 3rd week of lessons, and can say that learning the piano is a humbling experience. Being able to read music is an advantage, but oh how my head aches at learning to read two lines of music -- one of them in bass cleft, which I had never learned -- and then just when I think I've got that down, now I'm learning to use the pedal too. How do piano players do it? But I am totally having a blast, and just when I feel like my head is ready to explode, all of the sudden I can play through my little Heart & Soul piece without barely a mistake. It's such a thrill:-)
Posted By: dogperson

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 12/09/17 05:00 PM

Welcome Tootles!
I just have to ask: are you possibly married to Sam S, A member of this forum? If so, you’re going to have one great teacher. Enjoy every minute.

P.S. I hope I’m not being too intrusive, and I would not be offended if you decided not to answer the question about your husband
Posted By: OregonJim

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 12/27/17 07:52 AM

Why? Hmmm... I hadn't really given it much thought until I saw this question.

When I was 10 years old, my parents bought me a Yamaha Electone organ. It was the "thing to do" in the '70s. It seemed as though everyone had an organ in their home. I took to it quite well and enjoyed playing it for several years - at least until girls became interesting. After graduating high school, I formed a rock band. While I started by playing the organ, I quickly switched to bass guitar out of necessity (we didn't have a bass player, and we needed one more than an organist). I had always loved the sound & feel of the bass, and it seemed to be the instrument that was made for me. I picked it up quite easily and naturally. The band lasted for several years and became fairly popular, until one summer when several of us got married, and that marked the beginning of the end of the band. Throughout my working career, I have formed several more (informal) bands and had quite a lot of fun. I play bass on the church praise team as well. Over the last couple of decades, I've also learned how to play guitar, harmonica, ukulele, and violin. Interestingly, I have always had a keyboard of some sort in the house - even though I haven't seriously played keys of any sort since high school.

That is, until a couple of years ago, when I retired early. Having a sudden abundance of free time, mixed with a feeling of nostalgia, I became interested in keys again. This time, I decided to start learning piano. I don't know why, really - throughout my life I've been rather ambivalent toward piano - I've actually disliked the sound more often than not. Too plinky, too clangy, too muddy - organ, on the other hand, has always been a pleasing sound to me; Hammonds in particular (which I now have two of). Synths have always interested me as well. So why piano? I do enjoy the sound in a slow love ballad, or a blues, or smooth jazz, or even a boogie woogie. So, those are the styles I'm learning on the piano. But why? Maybe it's as simple as "I want to". Or maybe it's too complex a question to be answered with words.
Posted By: LadyAcadia

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 01/04/18 01:32 PM

Why you play the piano. . .
I love to learn new things and playing the piano is my happy place from the daily grind.

how did you first get interested. . .
I would say my mom did. Our upright piano was a focal point in our living room. Mom enjoyed singing show tunes and I would be her accompaniment.

who or what inspired you. . .
Great question! I recall being inspired at my first piano recital (grade school). One of the advanced students played a pop song, Spinning Wheel. I struggled for months to play my Hi-Lili Hi-Lo. His performance got the whole crowd clapping in rythum & a few people around me knew the lyrics and sang along! :-)

what keeps you going?
Two very important people keep me going. (1) My best friend hubby is very supportive. Always looking to buy me the best keyboard we could afford. I started with a Casio keyboard, then on to a Technics digital 88 and now Yamaha Portable Digital Grand Piano. (2) My choir director who I've been singing with for nearly 10 years is now my piano teacher since May of 2017. She is amazing musician, teacher & friend, but make no mistake she can be firm when I need that extra little push.

Thank you for this website. I'm so excited to be a member here. Between grade school and the present, I've had 2 terms of music study in high school (piano & acoustic guitar) and in college 2 terms of music theory. Now in my mid-fifties I wasn't sure that I could learn anything more advanced than the occasional Easy Piano books that I picked over the years. Learning about the 40 Piece Challenge brought me here. Happy New Year everyone!
Posted By: lilystem2609

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 01/10/18 04:40 PM

My story isn't particularly unique, but I'll share it anyway. I started playing at age six because my parents wanted me to learn an instrument. Why piano? I don't know precisely, but probably because we already had one-- a dinged up old thing that came with the house and got replaced not long after.

My older brother took piano lessons from our grandmother, a pretty high calibre piano teacher, but as she lived several hours away lessons were weeks or even months apart. My dad always says that he was the one who decided I should have more regular lessons instead-- I think he regretted not playing an instrument as a kid.

I started lessons with a family friend. At first I liked piano because of the novelty of it, but around age eight or nine I stopped caring. Fortunately my parents made sure I kept practicing, and when I reached a higher level I loved being able to hear pieces, find the music and learn to play them. I also learned a lot from a wonderful classical music summer camp.

I keep playing now because I find so much joy in playing and occasionally performing for a church or small local event. It's also nice to have something that I've put so much effort into that I can actually do it pretty well!
Posted By: GidgetKeys

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 01/12/18 12:36 AM

It seems that my journey is not unique, which is good to know. I took lessons as a child but it was summer and I guess my mother tired of telling me to practice and so the lessons ended. There was always this part of me that wished I could play, but nothing ever became of it.

Fast forward to current day. I'm in my late 40's and my husband and I have begun "following" his cousin's rock band. They play locally all summer. My husband decided to take up drums and guitar, opening the door for that long dormant dream of piano.

The band has a young keyboardist and every time we go see them, I am reminded that if I had just stuck with it all those years ago, I could probably play like she does.

And so... I got a keyboard and began again. One day I'll tell my keyboardist friend how she inspired me to try again.
Posted By: NancyM333

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 01/12/18 01:54 AM

Welcome to the Forums, GidgetKeys. It’s so much fun to challenge yourself in a skill, especially one with such beautiful results. I look forward to hearing how you progress.
Posted By: Beemer

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 01/12/18 06:15 PM

Cliché follows (well for just a bit)

My father bought an Eavestaff English made piano for my sister who was 10 years older than me. Many years later I found a price ticket inside that read £113. She was soon too leave our home by the time I was introduced to piano lessons.

I can just recall the visits to my first teacher. This was in the days when some scores still had a "+" sign for the thumb (perhaps not in the usa?) Being only nine, I cannot remember much about those days except, if you will forgive, my recollection of that presumably young female teacher changing her dress as she taught! In those days no parlor would be without a wall mounted mirror hence my vision of her dressing that has remained until this my 70th year!

Soon after I was moved without explanation (perhaps the mirror had some part in this?) to a new tutor. Mrs Hughes had a Blüthner grand (which I only recently found out due to a friend of much ability telling me so because he also "went" to Mrs Hughes,

Unfortunately Mrs Hughes (a woman then of advanced years and probably now departed) had a tendency to mirror my hands by placing them on top of mine to perceive my fingering. This I detested but what could I as a child do to prevent it/

My father was then killed in a horrible steelworks accident. The company then provided ongoing tuition but of course I, at 13, was too young to understand the offer. My practicing became erratic and eventually after Grade 4 Mrs Hughes said that she would no longer teach me. I now realise that she was correct in her decision, but I do feel very bad about my laziness.

So that was the end of my formal tuition. Then 14, I pursued other interests, those predominantly wearing skirts, which is where I met my wife and who presently puts up with my playing and my frequent piano tuning processes.

I cannot end without saying that this Pianoworld forum has done more for me, than I can express, to expand my musical knowledge and that of piano technology than anything before in my life.

Modestly, I can now say that I am well beyond grade four (but my daughter now a piano teacher, might say otherwise smile )

thanks,

Ian
Posted By: Bobby Badd

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 01/12/18 09:29 PM

I play the piano because I've played all the other instruments I was interested in. I started out playing drums in grade school, thru HS then put myself thru college playing in bands.
Along the way, I dabbled in the guitar but moved to mandolin and still play today. I've played drums in country bands back in the day, played in rock n roll bands on the weekends for kicks and additional money.
And, played mandolin in bluegrass bands, still do. Some fiddle as well.

Several years ago, being empty nesters, I focused on guitar. First blues, then rock, bluegrass including fiddle tunes and extended improvised solos. After a couple years, I focused on fingerstyle completely. After seven years of study, averaging 2 hours a day,
I realized I'd learned all I want to learn on guitar. Next step was playing in a band or jazz.

Not interested in playing guitar in bands, or jazz, I remembered I;d always had an interest in the piano, figured I'd learn it in
retirement. Lets say, I started "early"

Now, with a year and a few months in, I put together a piano solo cd for friends and family for Christmas, with some good reviews.
I am interested and play popular music, classic rock, boogie etc I've started on a bit of classical, some polkas and other things that catch my ear.
I wish I would have started years ago, as what I was playing fingerstyle on guitar, is basically solo piano style.

I am a musician. My passion for music remains the same, only the instruments change. (But of course, I have a day job)
Posted By: StooXex

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 01/13/18 04:43 PM

It's to do something with the odd shaped playstation stand.

Or, it's because I always enjoyed music, and fancy the challenge of learning to play the piano properly rather than the bodge that I usually use.
Posted By: NobleHouse

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 01/13/18 07:00 PM

I have always loved the sound of the piano and how the piano is the most expressive instrument (to me), and versatile.
Posted By: modean987

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 01/28/18 03:37 PM

Originally Posted by dogperson
... and filling the hours with trying to regain what was lost over the decades.

That sums it up for me.

I put the blonde Strat away several years ago. I spent decades playing it, was quite good on it, but never really got to know it.

Late last year I decided I wanted to learn how to play the piano, an instrument that's always fascinated me. I purchased a Roland FA-70 (space constraints) and since then, I've been trying to "fill the hours regaining what was lost over the decades," ...and loving every single moment with it.
Posted By: kevinb

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 01/29/18 08:51 AM

I play the piano because I like the satisfaction I get from performing with other musicians. Everything else I do with the piano is focused on being able to do that. I also sing with a performing choir, and I dabble with other instruments.

I don't perform much these days because I have too many other things going on. In addition, the kind of music I like these days requires far more technical skill than I have, to perform adequately. I'm working on it. Maybe one day.
Posted By: puremusic

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 02/23/18 01:06 AM

I play it for fun as a hobby. I picked up only just a year ago. I wanted some wholesome way to spend my time, that was creative and would not require a lot of effort. That's what is to me, wonderfully relaxing hobby, even now as I put in more effort.

It turned out to be just the thing for me. I had not realized ahead of time how much I would enjoy it.

Now I know why there used to be a piano in every home that served as the family entertainment center. It's a sad thing that TV replaced it, you simply can't compare the two. One benefits the mind and health and body and brings the family together, the other turns people into spoiled couch potatoes.

I use a DAW and work with samples a lot, and that's another fun part of the hobby. I get to play some really stellar sounding instruments of all kinds, for far less expense than it would take to actually own and buy and learn to play one. Or several, after all I bought a whole sampled orchestra and it sounds absolutely priceless.

God is good.
Posted By: Therander

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 03/22/18 11:13 AM

Piano is my everything. Playing piano is my way of expressing my thoughts and emotions.
Posted By: gwing

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 03/22/18 01:30 PM

It's hard to say exactlywhy I play Piano. I started to play less than three months ago and the answer then would have been 'just to see if I can, and purely for fun'. But it is still early days and the reasons I keep playing are constantly changing and deepening and that answer wouldn't be honest any more.

Back when I was a child musical instruments and learning to play were essentially a province just of the wealthy and didn't even come up for consideration. My wife however used to play as a child and asked for a keyboard at Christmas so, at the perhaps somewhat late starting age of 60, having never played an instrument or had a lesson in my life, I've started playing as well. Just casually. 'Several times a day if I can' type casually :-)

My ambitions and expectations were exceedingly low, simply enjoying playing and being able to knock out a recognisable tune would have done. However those ambitions are rising at a frightening yet exciting rate, as also does the importance of playing. It has already been worthwhile, not just in what I can play but for how much more I appreciate the music I hear. Even for the way these stiff old fingers have loosened up and come alive, they feel 40 years younger, as in some ways do I.

Posted By: Erkti

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 04/08/18 02:45 PM

A musician gifted me a piano of his, or a keyboard, that he was not using anymore, and that started me on my path to piano playing. I play to entertain. I love showing off for crowds, and i LOVE astounding people, which is why I learn mostly show off pieces. Needless to say, I still love the instrument, and I love playing the pieces I know, but I don't think I'd play piano if I couldn't play for others.
Posted By: Micael K.

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 04/08/18 08:15 PM

When I was young I was playing to play fast and loud. Today, I play for the two people who encouraged me the most when I was young. Unfortunately, they aren't in this world anymore but I like to think that they can still hear me play.
Posted By: clennox

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 04/10/18 05:33 PM

I play piano because as a child I absolutely loved music, but I hated sports. My parents wanted me to do -something- in the way of an extracurricular 'cause I was incredibly hyperactive, but nothing stuck for me. Piano was at least bearable so I went with that.

When I realized around high school that I could connect the music I loved to the instrument I was forced to learn, everything changed.

I developed a passion for it, playing my favorite songs and challenging myself.

Eventually I went to college for it and now I'm a piano teacher smile

Life has so many strange twists and turns doesn't it?
Posted By: Kenji13

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 05/15/18 02:08 AM

My primary instrument is a classical guitar, but I love playing the piano. I decided to learn to play the piano when I listened to the recording Horowitz playing "Pathetique" by Beethoven. Nobody in my family played piano nor any instrument, but I was so lucky that I found the CD. I was 16 year old and I was just impressed the sound and texture of the music. Since then, I am enjoying this beautiful instrument!
Posted By: cmb13

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 05/15/18 02:16 AM

Kenji that piece certainly is excellent! Good one to hook you, certainly. I hope to play it one day. Classical guitar is awesome too, of course! Welcome to the forum.
Posted By: Kenji13

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 05/16/18 03:17 AM

Thank you so much, cmb13!
Posted By: FrankieC

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 05/16/18 03:27 PM

I play because, like all of you, I love it. It all started for me with my mother. While she gave me my first official lesson at the age of five, the truth of the matter is that I can't remember ever not playing from the day I was born. The piano was always in my house and by the time I was 12 it was in my bedroom. It was a Star upright. I loved it. I think I was about 15 when at the advise of my piano instructor my my mom sold the upright and bought a 6'1" Horugle which I practiced on diligently every day during my teenage years through college. I love playing so much I can't stand being away from it. Even when I travel, which is quite a bit, I bring a snap-together version of a piano keyboard that does not make any sound just so I can practice in the hotel room. I recall studying with a teacher in Prescott Valley, Arizona in the 1980's when I did not have a piano. I had a lesson every day with him and I practiced on a window sill so I could be prepared for my lessons. I don't even want to think about what life would be like if piano were not a part of my life. I feel truly blessed to be able to play and thank heavens every day for the chance to play just one more time.
Posted By: dobro

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 05/16/18 04:27 PM

Originally Posted by FrankieC
I don't even want to think about what life would be like if piano were not a part of my life. I feel truly blessed to be able to play and thank heavens every day for the chance to play just one more time.


So true. It’s great that you stuck with music from childhood on.
Posted By: Lakeviewsteve

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 06/07/18 09:10 PM

When I was 6 years old my mother exposed my older sister and I to the piano because she loved it but never played. She enrolled my sister at the conservatory. I was able to play what she could without lessons so my mom enrolled me as well. It was the best thing my mother ever did for me as far as I'm concerned. I studied for 17 more years and continued playing. I've participated in four masters piano classes since and still love it. I don't know what I would do if I couldn't play daily. I lived in Europe for twelve years and have to honestly say the Europeans take it much more seriously and rightly so given history.

Steve
Posted By: CadenzaVvi

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 06/12/18 03:27 AM

Why do I continue playing piano?

Because it makes me feels good! smile

What else could you ask for?


Why did I came to the piano in the first place? That's a little bit funny, but because I wanted to play music again, after quitting my clarinet for 10 years, and want to be able to play in apartment without disturbing the neighbors. So digital piano seemed a great option.
Then, I disliked the sound of digital piano (even expensive ones), but loved the piano, so I bought a house, and lately, bought my first acoustic piano!
And now, I wish to have years of loving music with my new life companion!
Posted By: Tyrone Slothrop

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 06/12/18 04:11 AM

I've always been a classical music appreciator and often attend performing arts performances. One day, I was on Amazon.com searching for something else the day before a big holiday trip and came across a DP. I wondered if I could learn how to play myself. I bought it as an Xmas present for myself, but it was backordered. When I got back from my holiday, I found... no DP. It finally arrived halfway through January 2018 after I decided to email the reseller after a month went by from the time I placed my order, to dun them -- I had decided that maybe I didn't need to learn to play after all if they were going to take their sweet time getting it to me -- but as sometimes happens when you get tough with the vendor, it immediately was delivered 2 days after my call. Then it was my turn to be lazy. All the items sat in boxes in the corner, unpacked, for another month as life went on. Finally, on Valentine's Day, I decided to unpack my belated Xmas gift laugh. This was around the time when another friend offered to take the DP off my hands if I wasn't going to even unpack it. When I had it all set up that day, I searched the Internet for lessons and came up with a few options, and quickly signed up for two of the options within an hour or so. One of these turned out to be a failure since although I ordered and received all the books for it, I couldn't figure out how to proceed by myself. I'm doing the other of those two now (Piano Marvel) and am making progress -- well into level 4 out of 6 in that system now. Subsequently discovered this forum after I tried to post a few messages to the Reddit piano group and got... typical Reddit responses. laugh

So here I am at T+118 days since I unpacked the DP and played my first note. Not particularly yearning to play any one particular thing. Not even necessarily feeling like I need to play for others. It just seems like a nice activity. A nice way to pass the time. But this utter lack of any specific self-direction or self-initiated goals is one reason I've decided to take some piano exams and the lessons towards those ends. I hope it will give me some measure of progress towards "something", as there is not anything specific I want to accomplish myself.

That's it. Now that I've told my story, I'm thinking hard about deleting it since it sounds so prosaic and unromantic, unlike the other stories here. laugh
Posted By: nancyde

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 06/12/18 07:57 PM

Jouishy--many congratulations are in order. A new house, a new piano and a new life partner. I wish you many, many years of happiness.
Posted By: CadenzaVvi

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 06/12/18 08:45 PM

Just to be sure : the life partner is the piano. It is not a person. laugh

Thanks for your good wishes
Posted By: nancyde

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 06/13/18 07:33 PM

Excellent choice.
Posted By: Progman

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 07/02/18 09:02 PM

In 1974 at 15 years old my older brother took me to my first concert - Emerson, Lake & Palmer. That was wild, Keith Emerson was a keyboard maniac.That set into motion my love of progressive rock music of the 70's (i am progman). And my favorite portions of that music are piano. It turns out my grandfather on my Dad's side played piano in local bands up until he passed just before I was born. My Dad (only child) was forced to take piano for many years and hated it - I only learned this late in high school when we were in a house with a piano and he played some nice chords. So I imagine the reason am attracted to piano is from Grandpa who I never met. I did buy a digital in the 90's and some method books but didn't stick to it. When I was figuring out my retirement plan, learning piano was one of the main commitments. I was lucky enough to retire early, so here I go at 59. I have a great teacher that knows Keith Emerson and is supportive of my progressive rock thing. Her only demands are that I sight read and learn how to count for rhythm.
Posted By: 2BJoyful

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 09/07/18 06:15 PM

I learned how to play the piano because my mother made me start taking lessons when I was seven-years-old. I had to practice when I got home from school every day for thirty minutes. I didn't want to practice, but I didn't have a choice. I wanted to watch "Gilligan's Island" instead. When I was about 12 years old I caught the vision of why it was so important to learn to play the piano. I started playing in competitions and in Church and realized what a useful talent and skill it was in my life. When my children were seven-years-old, guess what? I did exactly the same thing my mother did to me. I made them take lessons so they could learn how to play the piano. My son is now a piano performance major in his senior year at BYU. All of my children have been church pianists at one time or another. I am now almost 62 years old and I have shared this wonderful talent most of my life through church service and vocal performances as a professional accompanist. I thanked my mother when I was in my twenties for her diligence in making me learn to play the piano. I hope my children will carry on this tradition of providing music lessons for their children. It's a financial investment that pays off BIG TIME.
Posted By: NobleHouse

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 09/07/18 11:47 PM

Originally Posted by 2BJoyful
I learned how to play the piano because my mother made me start taking lessons when I was seven-years-old. I had to practice when I got home from school every day for thirty minutes. I didn't want to practice, but I didn't have a choice. I wanted to watch "Gilligan's Island" instead. When I was about 12 years old I caught the vision of why it was so important to learn to play the piano. I started playing in competitions and in Church and realized what a useful talent and skill it was in my life. When my children were seven-years-old, guess what? I did exactly the same thing my mother did to me. I made them take lessons so they could learn how to play the piano. My son is now a piano performance major in his senior year at BYU. All of my children have been church pianists at one time or another. I am now almost 62 years old and I have shared this wonderful talent most of my life through church service and vocal performances as a professional accompanist. I thanked my mother when I was in my twenties for her diligence in making me learn to play the piano. I hope my children will carry on this tradition of providing music lessons for their children. It's a financial investment that pays off BIG TIME.


Great story and welcome to the forum. Hope to see you post more stories.
Posted By: NobleHouse

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 09/08/18 12:11 AM

Originally Posted by 2BJoyful
I learned how to play the piano because my mother made me start taking lessons when I was seven-years-old. I had to practice when I got home from school every day for thirty minutes. I didn't want to practice, but I didn't have a choice. I wanted to watch "Gilligan's Island" instead. When I was about 12 years old I caught the vision of why it was so important to learn to play the piano. I started playing in competitions and in Church and realized what a useful talent and skill it was in my life. When my children were seven-years-old, guess what? I did exactly the same thing my mother did to me. I made them take lessons so they could learn how to play the piano. My son is now a piano performance major in his senior year at BYU. All of my children have been church pianists at one time or another. I am now almost 62 years old and I have shared this wonderful talent most of my life through church service and vocal performances as a professional accompanist. I thanked my mother when I was in my twenties for her diligence in making me learn to play the piano. I hope my children will carry on this tradition of providing music lessons for their children. It's a financial investment that pays off BIG TIME.


What High School did you attend? Just curious since we are the same age, and I grew up there.
Posted By: Beowulf

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 09/15/18 02:36 AM

My free time during my teenage years to my early 20s were mostly spent on video and online games and those games (such as Kingdom Hearts and Final Fantasy) had some truly fantastic music. I quitted gaming to focus on my university studies and from there on my love for gaming died and nowadays I rarely ever touch video games anymore. In recent years, I spent a great amount of time watching people on YouTube play pieces on the piano from the video games I had played and from those videos, I somehow got inspired to start playing the piano myself.

It's been over a year and a half since I started playing the piano and every day I get more motivated to keep learning.
Posted By: cmb13

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 09/15/18 03:31 PM

Beowulf, as a gamer, you'll love this channel!
Posted By: Beowulf

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 09/16/18 12:29 AM

Originally Posted by cmb13
Beowulf, as a gamer, you'll love this channel!


I have been follow Kara Comparetto for more than a year now! She is such a wonderful pianist and serves as a great inspiration to me!
Posted By: EMusic

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 09/20/18 05:24 PM

I quite often play the piano to relax. I think I started lessons because some of my friends were learning in school and thought it would be fun to give it a go. That was when I was about 7 or 8 years old and I've played piano on and off ever since.

During high school and university, it was a useful way to procrastinate! I felt less guilty playing the piano instead of studying than watching TV and not doing my work!

Having left university now, it gives me an outlet to be creative, when I have less opportunities in other areas of life.
Posted By: TheophilusCarter

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 11/03/18 04:02 AM

Well, let's see ...
I play / have played other instruments over the years. Saxophone (first alto, then tenor) was my school instrument, from the 4th grade to the end of high school. I took up bass (first electric, then upright) mid-way through high school, and went on to major in music on bass in college, but I had a lot of RSI issues, and ended up changing majors. I was eventually able to heal up and to get back into bass, and I still play now, even gigging here and there (my jazz quartet is playing a wedding reception tomorrow, as a matter of fact). I've also noodled on other instruments, mainly guitar, but nothing to write home about.
I tried piano a few times over the years, but it didn't really stick. For some reason, I got the bug to give it another shot about six and a half years ago, and it seems to be sticking. My practice was irregular for most of that, so my progress was very slow, but about five months ago, something happened, and I really got the bug. I'm now practicing two hours a day, five or six days a week (as my work schedule permits), and actually making decent progress now (imagine that!). I'm not following a formal syllabus, but I have some tunes down that would definitely fall at least at RCM grade 4 and one that might be as high as grade 5. I'm working on filling in some gaps in my studies, and hoping to be able to start some grade 6 pieces in the next year or so.
I'm not sure what my ultimate goals are. I certainly have no plans at this (middle) age to become a professional musician (other than the rare paying gig that I already get on bass). Mostly, I think I'm looking for a greater degree of musical self-sufficiency. It's just great to be able to sit down and play a complete-sounding piece of music all by myself, without needing to be part of a band or ensemble of some kind. I'm also learning some blues piano, and I sing a bit, so I have half an idea to work up a bit of a blues act that I might be able to gig all by myself, or with just me and the missuz (I forgot to mention: she plays drums, and is currently part of the jazz quartet).
Mostly, though, it's just the usual, boring reason: I like it. smile It's really scratching my musical itch these days, and I'm feeling very motivated to practice. As slow as my progress can be sometimes (I don't consider myself naturally "talented," whatever that is ... ), I love that I do see progress, as long as I keep working hard enough. Everything in life should be so straightforward and fair! It's also just a really good respite from work, life, and other inconveniences ... No matter how lousy a day I'm having, I know I get to go home and spend a couple of hours on the keys, and that always gets me through the day.
Posted By: John Stockton

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 11/06/18 05:50 AM

I felt in love with piano many, many years after I began playing. In high school, taking music classes gave me a better understanding of clasical music. And somehow, I started enjoying playing the piano a lot more. Back then it was just good music that made me find it enjoyable.
Posted By: Ovidiu M

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 12/08/18 12:25 PM

I have always loved piano. In childhood i didnt really had a chance to study it. Now in adulthood i can buit trying hard to fit it in amongst ther others obligations of life.
Posted By: anncarley

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 12/16/18 10:40 PM

I had a disastrous experience taking piano lessons when I was 5 years old. I stopped after 6 months but always had the desire to play.Over the years I was busy with school, university,children , and then career. When I retired I decided I would begin lessons. I began with the Royal Conservatory of Music in level one ( with all the other 6 year olds), at the age of 74, I’m now in level 5. Yesterday I wrote level 5 theory exam, and today I have post exam regret, ie. what I should have answered. But that will pass. And now to the question why do I want to play the piano. I love music and I love piano, and I also like the challenge. I’m sure that if I just took lessons and didn’t do the exams it would be much less stressful, and on days like today I’m tempted ,but tomorrow I’d be regretful that I didn’t continue to level six.
Posted By: Sibylle

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 12/18/18 08:23 AM

1. I just always wanted to play. I was too young to remember now exactly why that was.

2. I love the feeling of the cool keys under my hands and the full-body experience of playing.

3. When I listen to classical music, it's 95% either piano or orchestral. Since I can't play an entire orchestra, I settled on piano!

4. I think it's the most beautiful-sounding instrument.

Obviously, all of this is highly subjective... but those are the reasons I started playing, kept playing, and keep coming back to it.
Posted By: NobleHouse

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 12/18/18 12:32 PM

Originally Posted by Sibylle
1. I just always wanted to play. I was too young to remember now exactly why that was.

2. I love the feeling of the cool keys under my hands and the full-body experience of playing.

3. When I listen to classical music, it's 95% either piano or orchestral. Since I can't play an entire orchestra, I settled on piano!

4. I think it's the most beautiful-sounding instrument.

Obviously, all of this is highly subjective... but those are the reasons I started playing, kept playing, and keep coming back to it.


Great reasons!
Posted By: Warren P

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 12/22/18 04:03 AM

A few of my "reasons":

1. D flat major.

2. E major.

3. A minor.

4. Good ole C Major.

The sound of a piano. The resonance, the strings and wood singing the sounds of the universe.

W
Posted By: Agfinguy

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 12/26/18 04:15 PM

Let's see...

Love the romance of playing the Piano

Always wanted to..

I'm 56 and need something to really get into when I retire

makes me feel vibrant

love the sounds

Did I say I always wanted to Play the piano...

thumb
Posted By: Ojustaboo

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 12/27/18 10:57 AM

Hmm,

I started being forced to go to piano lessons as a kid, and to be totally honest, I hated them.

While this might sound like I have a chip on my shoulder, I haven't, I got over this years ago, just explaining what put me off my lessons.

Sister was a few years older than me, she passed her 11+ exam and got into Grammar school (UK). She would play the piano for hours every day from as early as I could remember.

My mum was really really proud of her, she could show her off, whereas I and my other sister both failed our 11+ and ended up at the local comprehensive school etc.

My sister would play classical music for hours, I would get on the piano, play for a few minutes and in that time I would have been told to "play properly" or to "stop banging so loudly" about 10 times by my mum (who couldn't play a note) .

We both had the same piano teacher, but as with most things in life, what works for one person, doesn't necessarily work for another.

I didn't mind the scales, but I hated the music.

I passed my grade 1 exam, but I was totally bored with what I was expected to play.

I had a passion for listening music from a very very early age, but not classical. I would listen to the radio for hours.

I must have been around 10 years old at the time when I got hold of the sheet music for Scott Joplin's The Entertainer, and asked my music teacher if I could also learn that. She wasn't interested, said it was far too advanced for me etc and on I plodded with my grade 2 music.

So I tried to learn it myself, I couldn't do it while my mum was home, because it wasn't "playing properly", but I taught myself the first part in just a few hours as it was something I really enjoyed doing etc. And I can still play it from memory 45 years later (although a bit rusty) .

It wasn't long after this that I gave up the piano, hated the lessons, hated that even if I did try and practice the lessons, I would get told to stop banging or play properly etc.

In the end I simply stopped practising and the teacher convinced my mum that she was throwing her money away as I wasn't interested.

And I became interested in other things but still loved listening to the radio and soon got a record player. My life almost circled around listening to music, when punk hit the scene in the late 70s, that was it, I had found my passion. Bands like The Clash, The Stranglers, Magazine etc I would listen to hours on end non stop. I remember turning on Top of the Pops one night and seeing this band called Tubeway Army with this weird guy Gary Numan singing, had never heard anything like it, that was it, I wanted a synth.

But was only 15 at the time and had no means of buying one.

Over the course of the next 3 years I first got a 2 octave monophonic synth and joined a band, and I loved it. Then as I started earning, I got better synths, and again loved playing them.

If my family was in the living room and Top of the Pops was on, band after band my dad or sister would comment on the keyboard playing saying things like "how can they call that playing" etc.

But, roll on to today, I can get just as much pleasure playing one note on one of my many virtual synthesizers and playing around with the sound, as I do learning on my digital piano.

I don't regret in the slightest giving up the piano as a child. I was getting zero enjoyment, and I love how my life turned out after that, and had I been like my sister, chances are my life would never have been anything like as colourful as it has been, plus I would probably have never met my lovely wife (been together for 37 years).

I recently bought myself a cheapish digital piano (Casio PX870) that I have away from my PC, so that I can try to improve my playing. While I am happy to practise any music that will do this, I still am not really into classical (although there's a few bits and pieces I like), and I loath this notion that in order to play the piano properly , classical is the way to go.

Mention the word punk to some people and they think of zero talent noise. Dave Greenfield (Stranglers Keyboardist) is in my opinion one of the greatest keyboardists of all time, likewise the keyboard playing of Magazines Dave Formula is equally superb.

Compared to how both my dad and my sister play the piano, I am in a different league (with many other leagues in between). However it's not as straight forward as that.

Put any sheet of classical music in front of my sister at a piano, and the chances are she can sight read it almost perfectly (if not perfectly) . But she openly admits she could never come up with the sort of things I came up with when I used to play in bands, likewise she would really struggle to do what the likes of Dave Greenfield or Dave Formula can do.

At the moment I am trying to share my piano playing time between learning on my PX870 and playing around with synths on my PC. I am really having fun, but piano isn't my only passion, I also have other hobbies like electronics and am rebuilding a metal work lathe.


Posted By: j&j

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 12/29/18 06:06 PM

1) My mother played piano and got a new upright when I was 7 years old. Shortly after, I was enrolled in piano lessons. I learned to read music and play intermediate pieces in 5 years. Unfortunately I didn’t have the gift of perfect pitch and could never play by ear. I really enjoyed lessons and put up with my Mom’s practice rules.
2) I enjoy listening to piano music and love watching a piano being played well, whether it’s me or someone else.
3) I love playing piano and enjoy the feel of a beautifully responsive instrument.
4) I can’t sing too well
5) Guitar’s too challenging at this point
6) I took 5 years of piano lessons as a kid and finished 5 years of classes and lessons as an adult in 2015. If I don’t play, I wasted a whole bunch of money.
7) it’s now cool to be a piano nerd.
Posted By: U3piano

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 12/30/18 07:11 PM

I play the piano because i feel heavenly doing it!

For me its such an emotional experience, i just feel like the happiest person in the world when im playing something i know well so i can put all my feeling in it. In the moment there are no thoughts, problems, or anything else, not a care in the world, just pure bliss. Piano is actually kind of a lifesaver for me, a fantastic way to escape into a world of positivity. I feel blessed that i discovered this, i just wish i did earlier!
Posted By: Goof

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 12/30/18 09:32 PM

I had lessons from age 12 to 16 and I'm sure it was my mother's idea as she played when young but did not take it up again when we got a pianonin 1946 !
I think I try on and off still at 82 because I like both the sound and the challenge !
Posted By: JoelM

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 01/01/19 06:23 PM

Third time's the charm. This is my third attempt at trying to learn the piano. Recently, I was given a used baby grand digital piano. Now 58, after being away for eight years, I am still determined to succeed. Why? Like many others, I like the challenge. It is a relaxing way to unwind after work. Also, I want to have something I can do, that is enjoyable and can be enjoyed for a lifetime, the older I get.
Posted By: Agfinguy

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 02/12/19 05:41 PM

I play because I feel it keeps me sharp, I retire in 6 years and want that as one of my many hobbies - there is a sense of accomplishment and romance to playing.. I like the feeling.
Posted By: NobleHouse

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 02/12/19 08:27 PM

Originally Posted by Agfinguy
I play because I feel it keeps me sharp, I retire in 6 years and want that as one of my many hobbies - there is a sense of accomplishment and romance to playing.. I like the feeling.


thumb
Posted By: ShyPianist

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 02/12/19 08:45 PM

Well, why not join in?

I play the piano because I need to, it’s been an integral part of me since early childhood. I’ve had a turbulent relationship with the instrument throughout my life, because it was something other people chose for me and chose to define me by. But these last few years when I haven’t been playing I have felt like a part of me is missing. Now I am playing again and I’m playing just for me. Not to win prizes, not to impress friends & family with virtuosic sounding pieces, just for me. And now I love it.
Posted By: NobleHouse

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 02/12/19 11:46 PM

Originally Posted by ShyPianist
Well, why not join in?

I play the piano because I need to, it’s been an integral part of me since early childhood. I’ve had a turbulent relationship with the instrument throughout my life, because it was something other people chose for me and chose to define me by. But these last few years when I haven’t been playing I have felt like a part of me is missing. Now I am playing again and I’m playing just for me. Not to win prizes, not to impress friends & family with virtuosic sounding pieces, just for me. And now I love it.


Great reason!
Posted By: George S

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 02/27/19 05:03 PM

Joe "Fingers" Carr. When I was a kid my parents got a record of him playing rags and boogie. I tried to play the piano and my sister danced to him. She became a ballet dancer and finally started to serious learn the piano after I retired.
Posted By: Ravi

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 03/05/19 06:53 AM

I started in 2005 because I have always loved classical piano, wanted to play at some level, defragment my internet-afflicted attention span, and possibly try chamber music. It is 2019 and I've made progress and learned a bunch of pieces although my fundamentals continue to be weak and my sight reading dismal. I keep playing because there are stretches where I can feel the improvement in sound and in the ability to take a phrase where I want it to go. It's nice when I can get it even though is just focused repetition and playing from memory. When I move to a new piece, I start almost from square one. In the long lulls between those stretches of progress, cussedness comes into it - I've sunk time and effort into the instrument and weekly lessons. Although I know deep down I will quit some day, I don't want today to be that day.

(As far as the loftier goals, I've punted on ever playing chamber music, I just don't have the rhythm or the sheer processing ability required. Similarly expecting piano to help with attention span was just plain backwards. I'm not happy about giving up either but by letting go, I can direct my limited energies and talent to areas where I can make some bursty progress.)
Posted By: Living_tribunal

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 03/21/19 03:32 AM

I've been compulsive about romantic piano pieces, and some late classical, for a few years. I just started to learning to gain a better understanding of the compositions, emotion, and expression.
Posted By: chongjasmine

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 03/25/19 04:50 PM

I hope to learn the keyboard because this is a skill I will like to acquire.
Posted By: Tech-key

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 03/25/19 06:46 PM

I mostly picked up learning the piano, because I wanted to learn something related to hand-eye co-ordination. I might as well have picked juggling, or card tricks. But I happened to have a mini keyboard in my home.. Didn’t know then, that this could get addictive!
Posted By: BigIslandGuy

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 04/15/19 08:36 AM

Started in 1st grade and while at first my mom had to sit with me 1/2 hour, every night to make me practice, I came to love playing within a couple of years. Since then, it's always been a part of my life. Later, starting in my late 40s, advanced cancer and the treatments for it left my body in such a wreck, that now it's about the only thing left that I can still do half decently.
Posted By: Tyrone Slothrop

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 04/15/19 10:24 AM

Originally Posted by BigIslandGuy
Started in 1st grade and while at first my mom had to sit with me 1/2 hour, every night to make me practice, I came to love playing within a couple of years. Since then, it's always been a part of my life. Later, starting in my late 40s, advanced cancer and the treatments for it left my body in such a wreck, that now it's about the only thing left that I can still do half decently.

It's really wonderful that you developed such a love for piano and that it seems to have had a role in your long-term recovery! However, that phrase about your mom was both admirable and scary at the same time. I mentally substitute "make me practice" with one pertinent for my mother regarding "sleeping," and it give me straight up shivers! But regardless, it seems it worked and no hard was done thumb And perhaps, in the end, it was how your mom helped you through your activity that made it different from my own mother.

As I mentioned in when you first intro'ed yourself on PW, I find your story inspirational! smile
Posted By: Sol Finker

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 04/15/19 06:12 PM

I did some piano as a kid and I quit after two years of skipping lessons.
Three years ago - I am now almost 60 - I found out DP's . I did not know they had weighted keys and that you could buy one at a reasonable price. So I bought one and started playing. I thought I was going to play J.S.Bach Wohltemperiertes Klavier in a couple of years, but seeing where I am now - pianistically - I think it will take me a couple of lives to arrive there.
In any way, what I wanted is to prepare for retirement and arrive there with some piano knowledge.
I am now going around a mountain - playing piano - and I do not know how to climb it. I am a little stuck at the moment.

The good thing is that I enjoy every note.
Posted By: BigIslandGuy

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 04/18/19 02:46 PM

Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by BigIslandGuy
Started in 1st grade and while at first my mom had to sit with me 1/2 hour, every night to make me practice, I came to love playing within a couple of years. Since then, it's always been a part of my life. Later, starting in my late 40s, advanced cancer and the treatments for it left my body in such a wreck, that now it's about the only thing left that I can still do half decently.

It's really wonderful that you developed such a love for piano and that it seems to have had a role in your long-term recovery! However, that phrase about your mom was both admirable and scary at the same time. I mentally substitute "make me practice" with one pertinent for my mother regarding "sleeping," and it give me straight up shivers! But regardless, it seems it worked and no hard was done thumb And perhaps, in the end, it was how your mom helped you through your activity that made it different from my own mother.

As I mentioned in when you first intro'ed yourself on PW, I find your story inspirational! smile


Thanks Tyrone. My mother was so amazingly patient. At one point, she sat with each of us three brothers sequentially for 1/2 hour apiece, every night. My brothers never caught fire with it, but at least I did, which made her very happy. The S&S B will be here Friday morning, which will certainly be inspirational for me. smile
Posted By: Hotstrings

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 04/19/19 04:14 AM

Totally an accidental discovery. At 72 and being a guitarist all my life (62 yrs), I saw the movie La LANd . Movie my wife wanted to see. I was watching the hands of Ryan Gossling when he played Mia and Sebastian’s theme. It really didn’t look fake. Sure enough Ryan studied w a master from Toyko and for 3 months he learned those parts you see him play in the movie. I know it’s rite but still commendable. Fascinated me cause I was 72 thinking about playing.
I told my wife I wanted to try piano because as a young 11 yr old guitar student, I was learning how to read treble clef and teacher introduced me to piano. When I realized on piano you have to look at identical note but different for bass clef , I ran for the hills.Stayed w guitar —but now I’m all piano!
Totally obsessed so much that I had to seek some help as that is all I did for first year. I still practice 4-6 hrs a day but have no delusions as I have learned to accept I will never play piano like I play guitar.
I love piano so much that I draw joy from even those hanon exercises. And I don’t even have a real piano, just a Kawai es110.
I get to play on my teachers 9 foot grand at my weekly lessons and it’s sure got me thinking about selling some of my guitars. Wife will likely leave me w an acoustic in the house.
Digital can’t be holding me back too bad because I do ok on his grand. However I feel a difference.
I guess I play piano because it makes me feel like those people who die and come back but don’t wanna come back because they saw heaven. Sometime I sit under my Beyerdynamic headphones , feel like I’m in a tomb , look up, and 3 hrs went by.
Finally I love piano because I can apply years and years of music chord theory. Having 5 fingers is an incredible discovery for a guitarist as I often can color chords instantly and w 5 fingers, I can really spruce up chords . Sure occasionally guitar players might creep their thumb around neck for bass notes but I’m loving the potential for altering chords.
Posted By: Tyrone Slothrop

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 04/19/19 07:58 AM

Originally Posted by Hotstrings
Finally I love piano because I can apply years and years of music chord theory. Having 5 fingers is an incredible discovery for a guitarist as I often can color chords instantly and w 5 fingers, I can really spruce up chords . Sure occasionally guitar players might creep their thumb around neck for bass notes but I’m loving the potential for altering chords.

I didn't realize guitarists were limited in their chords as now when I think guitars, I think chords. Like guitar is the official chord instrument. But it makes sense! And the mental picture of the thumb creeping around the neck of the guitar to snag a bass string made me chuckle!

Sounds like you got bit by the piano bug badly. I have a similar starter piano as you - a Roland FP30 in my case - but am plotting my soon upgrade. Enjoy!
Posted By: U3piano

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 05/26/19 10:05 PM

I play the piano in an effort to drown out my girlfriend.
Posted By: LarryK

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 05/26/19 11:45 PM

Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by Hotstrings
Finally I love piano because I can apply years and years of music chord theory. Having 5 fingers is an incredible discovery for a guitarist as I often can color chords instantly and w 5 fingers, I can really spruce up chords . Sure occasionally guitar players might creep their thumb around neck for bass notes but I’m loving the potential for altering chords.

I didn't realize guitarists were limited in their chords as now when I think guitars, I think chords. Like guitar is the official chord instrument. But it makes sense! And the mental picture of the thumb creeping around the neck of the guitar to snag a bass string made me chuckle!

Sounds like you got bit by the piano bug badly. I have a similar starter piano as you - a Roland FP30 in my case - but am plotting my soon upgrade. Enjoy!



Classical guitarists don’t fret a bass string with the thumb, for that will freeze the hand on the fretboard. That thumb trick worked for Richie Havens singing Freedom at Woodstock, love him. Classical guitarists don’t tend to fret chords and strum either. Yes, the whole measure may represent a chord but we tend to play the notes individually and hold when we can, and let go when we must. Classical guitar playing is kind of balletic and much more difficult than playing chords on a steel stringed acoustic guitar.
Posted By: Tyrone Slothrop

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 05/27/19 08:27 PM

Originally Posted by LarryK
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
I didn't realize guitarists were limited in their chords as now when I think guitars, I think chords. Like guitar is the official chord instrument. But it makes sense! And the mental picture of the thumb creeping around the neck of the guitar to snag a bass string made me chuckle!

Sounds like you got bit by the piano bug badly. I have a similar starter piano as you - a Roland FP30 in my case - but am plotting my soon upgrade. Enjoy!
Classical guitarists don’t fret a bass string with the thumb, for that will freeze the hand on the fretboard. That thumb trick worked for Richie Havens singing Freedom at Woodstock, love him. Classical guitarists don’t tend to fret chords and strum either. Yes, the whole measure may represent a chord but we tend to play the notes individually and hold when we can, and let go when we must. Classical guitar playing is kind of balletic and much more difficult than playing chords on a steel stringed acoustic guitar.

That's interesting. Does that mean that in classical guitar, true chords don't exist if they are always arpeggiated? Hmmm, I didn't think of this before, but it seems that classical guitar is focused on melody, and non-classical guitar is focused on harmony.

EDIT: Or maybe I just don't understand harmony well enough, but I've always thought of single note at a time instruments, like trombone, to be more melodic than harmonic.
Posted By: j&j

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 05/27/19 09:54 PM

Pianos in a band or orchestra are really the rhythm and percussion section. If you’re playing in a band, you can “lose the right hand” and just keep the left hand going keeping rhythm, and the band can keep playing the piece without losing the tempo. Music theory is easer to understand on a keyboard. It’s easier to see and understand chord changes and relationships. The downside is you have to read two clefs simultaneously.
Posted By: Fidel

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 05/29/19 02:16 AM

Why do I play piano? No idea and even less idea as to when I'll find out. In the meantime, I seem to enjoy it. That's good enough for now.
Posted By: Stieff Fan

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 06/05/19 02:11 PM

I don't think there was any particular thing that spurred me to learn how to play the piano, but I do remember watching The Pianist several months ago, and just being enthralled by the emotion of the scene of the protagonist (spoilers ahead) playing Chopin's Ballad No. 1 in G Minor for the SS officer towards the end of the movie. The ending of that piece has so much emotion built into it that I can only imagine what Chopin was feeling when he composed it. Pieces like that are probably why I play, and what I strive towards playing. I'm still very much a beginner, but I love playing the piano and making music with my own hands, and I eagerly await the day that I can play advanced pieces like the one mentioned above.
Posted By: Matt-A

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 06/10/19 02:06 AM

I love music. Seems like a pretty good reason to me.
Posted By: Henri2106

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 06/22/19 03:19 PM

Thanks, Dogperson! I’m retired, started playing again just over two years ago and now have an old baby grand on which I play daily. It’s a great pleasure, and so therapeutic!!!! Carry on!
Posted By: LarryK

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 06/22/19 03:40 PM

Because I came to the realization that most of Bach’s keyboard works are too difficult to play on the classical guitar. I have an arrangement of the Goldberg Variations, it is beyond insane. I may never get to the Goldbergs on piano but I should be able to get to some of the inventions, and some of book one of the Well Tempered Clavier.
Posted By: JDHMD

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 07/08/19 08:49 PM

Both of my children studied piano/music seriously (4-18 years old). Now they have left home for college, I decided to follow in their footsteps and therefore began to play last September when my son went to college (more free time now). Starting at age 55 is not ideal but better late than never!
Posted By: NobleHouse

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 07/08/19 11:13 PM

Originally Posted by Jingdong
Both of my children studied piano/music seriously (4-18 years old). Now they have left home for college, I decided to follow in their footsteps and therefore began to play last September when my son went to college (more free time now). Starting at age 55 is not ideal but better late than never!


Good luck and enjoy your piano journey.
Posted By: LCantoni

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 08/03/19 09:32 PM

I recently restarted piano lessons after a 50-year hiatus. My father was a professional jazz/swing trumpeter who was eager to have me play an instrument. So at age 7 I began my lessons. My teacher was a kindly little old lady, but I just didn't have the aptitude, and the lessons became excruciating. By age 10 I'd had enough and opted to join the Girl Scouts instead. My father was so angry that he sold the piano. My mother said I'd be sorry. I hated it when she was right...

In the ensuing years I took voice lessons, sang opera (choruses and small parts), became an opera stage director (part-time -- I was a lawyer by day). I married an orchestra conductor and played minor percussion bits in some of his concerts. But the regret my mother had predicted followed me through all those years. It became even keener when a dear friend bequeathed us her old Chickering baby grand. I would eye it longingly, but I was too ashamed to play for more than a few minutes, even when I was alone.

Now I'm retired, from both law and opera directing, and I've taken the plunge back into piano lessons. When my teacher asked me to bring, for the first lesson, the last thing I had worked on, I brought my Michael Aaron Piano Course, Third Grade, with my name in childish scrawl and the date: 1968. He didn't laugh at me; he was, I think, touched that I still had it. I think it says something about my lifelong yearning for the piano. I sang for years, but the piano has a different voice, and somehow it appeals to me much more. I can't say why.
Posted By: KevinM

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 08/03/19 09:42 PM

Welcome Linda, my break was 40 years.

I like your story, many of us here have variations of it.

I wish you fulfillment and enjoyment in your learning and it sounds like you have found a teacher with empathy and supports what you do. That is great.
Posted By: NobleHouse

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 08/03/19 10:44 PM

Originally Posted by LCantoni
I recently restarted piano lessons after a 50-year hiatus. My father was a professional jazz/swing trumpeter who was eager to have me play an instrument. So at age 7 I began my lessons. My teacher was a kindly little old lady, but I just didn't have the aptitude, and the lessons became excruciating. By age 10 I'd had enough and opted to join the Girl Scouts instead. My father was so angry that he sold the piano. My mother said I'd be sorry. I hated it when she was right...

In the ensuing years I took voice lessons, sang opera (choruses and small parts), became an opera stage director (part-time -- I was a lawyer by day). I married an orchestra conductor and played minor percussion bits in some of his concerts. But the regret my mother had predicted followed me through all those years. It became even keener when a dear friend bequeathed us her old Chickering baby grand. I would eye it longingly, but I was too ashamed to play for more than a few minutes, even when I was alone.

Now I'm retired, from both law and opera directing, and I've taken the plunge back into piano lessons. When my teacher asked me to bring, for the first lesson, the last thing I had worked on, I brought my Michael Aaron Piano Course, Third Grade, with my name in childish scrawl and the date: 1968. He didn't laugh at me; he was, I think, touched that I still had it. I think it says something about my lifelong yearning for the piano. I sang for years, but the piano has a different voice, and somehow it appeals to me much more. I can't say why.


Welcome to the PW family. Enjoy your new journey!
Posted By: cmb13

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 08/04/19 12:10 AM

Nice story, Linda, and welcome to the community. We’re glad you’re back!
Posted By: LCantoni

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 08/05/19 06:44 PM

Thank you for the very kind welcome!
Posted By: JB_PW

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 08/25/19 10:52 PM

My grandma was the piano player for a Dixieland jazz band. She also learned ukulele to play occasionally in that group, and I now own both of her instruments. She played piano and organ all the time; I was around music since I was tiny and took to it very naturally.

My main instrument was clarinet, but I took piano lessons in school from my band director's wife. She was a sweet lady but I don't think her lesson structure was great. After a semi-disastrous stint as the piano player for my 8th grade jazz band (I couldn't improv to save my life) and a fully-disastrous year playing for the 9th grade choir (intimidated by the pieces, I procrastinated practicing and performed very poorly), I gave up on lessons. I played for fun for awhile, but after I graduated I didn't have access to a piano for several years and it was too frustrating getting back to it.

About a year and a half ago (after ~22 years of rarely playing piano), my concert band played a few pieces with fantastic piano parts that we couldn't get anyone to cover. This is what motivated me to play again! I've now been taking lessons for over a year, and I'm so obsessed with piano that it's been a constant struggle to keep my clarinet playing on track. smile

Posted By: NobleHouse

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 08/26/19 11:38 AM

Originally Posted by Jen_JB
My grandma was the piano player for a Dixieland jazz band. She also learned ukulele to play occasionally in that group, and I now own both of her instruments. She played piano and organ all the time; I was around music since I was tiny and took to it very naturally.

My main instrument was clarinet, but I took piano lessons in school from my band director's wife. She was a sweet lady but I don't think her lesson structure was great. After a semi-disastrous stint as the piano player for my 8th grade jazz band (I couldn't improv to save my life) and a fully-disastrous year playing for the 9th grade choir (intimidated by the pieces, I procrastinated practicing and performed very poorly), I gave up on lessons. I played for fun for awhile, but after I graduated I didn't have access to a piano for several years and it was too frustrating getting back to it.

About a year and a half ago (after ~22 years of rarely playing piano), my concert band played a few pieces with fantastic piano parts that we couldn't get anyone to cover. This is what motivated me to play again! I've now been taking lessons for over a year, and I'm so obsessed with piano that it's been a constant struggle to keep my clarinet playing on track. smile



What an interesting story! Welcome back to the piano-and enjoy the journey.
Posted By: KevinM

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 09/11/19 11:16 AM

TL;DR

I don’t deal with stress particularly well. Some bad things happened, that had consequences for my health. I needed something else in my life and I decided that the piano was going to be it, forty years after my last lesson.

Why do I play piano.

A bit worried that this is over sharing. But it feels like I say nothing or everything.

I learnt piano as a child with lessons. I enjoyed playing and somewhat less so the learning, but I wanted to be one of the cool kids and they played guitar. My Dad bribed me with the promise of a guitar for my 14 birthday if I kept up with the piano. The guitar arrived, piano stopped and a year or so later so did the guitar.

My Dad was definitely a motivation for the piano, he also played, not particularly well but not badly.

When my Mum retired in the early 1990s she moved back to the UK from Australia, in late 1998 My partner and I moved to the UK.

My partner became ill with a chronic illness which means that at times I am also her carer.

In 2016 I flew out to Australia at short notice due to a health scare with my father. By then none of his children where living in Australia. It was clear then that things weren’t quite right. In 2017 a crisis came and he was diagnosed with Lewy body dementia which results in delusions. Also some not so serious vascular dementia. The Lewy body dementia is particularly nasty resulting in delusions and at times a disconnection to reality. It meant staying in his home without live in support was impossible, he refused to accept the need for live in support and that the only alternative was moving elsewhere. This meant it was necessary to move him into care, and I organised that to happen. My father blames me for this.

Less than 2 weeks after returning to the UK after a few trips to Australia during the summer I had a minor stroke in September 2017. Two weeks later a close friend died without warning.

The stroke of course resulted in lots of tests and various medications. At my last appointment with the stroke unit in February 2018 the doctor asked about the results of a heart ultra-sound, but I had never been referred for that. I was informed it was just a formality but that it should be done and luckily they followed up with it. What it, and along with then further investigations including results of the visualisation from a cath lab, it was clear that I had, had a silent heart attack sometime most likely during the northern summer of 2017 which had damaged the heart with a section of heart muscle now replaced with scar tissue so it is less powerful and works less efficiently and this apparently allows blood clots to form in the heart chamber that when at a time of high stress can get expelled. This was the most likely cause for the mini stroke. The consequence is serious, permanent damage to the heart has been done. This is not like the stroke where a full recovery was quick.

Slowly a realisation formed that I needed something that was just for myself. Beyond working, and being a on/off again carer for my partner and dealing with my father. This feeling was also strengthened as it was becoming clear my mother was becoming quite forgetful late last year. She has been diagnosed with vascular dementia this year and like my father refuses to see the need for support while her life living in a village outside of Cambridge gets gradually more chaotic as a result. In this case it is just stubbornness and not the delusions of my father. It is likely just time until a crisis happens that will force her circumstances to change.

I have not dealt with these various stresses particularly well. I need something else in my life.

So a year after the stroke, 6 months after learning that I had, had a heart attack, I finally took the step to find a digital piano to play. A couple of months later I started lessons again.

I am going to Sydney in November for the first time in just over 2 years and since my father is still playing the piano I am hoping we can make a connection, through our common experience. He can listen to me, and I can listen to him. I am not particularly hopeful on this but I have to try.

I feel it has been totally the right thing for my mental well being, which of course is then good for my physical well being. I am so glad I made that decision a little less than a year ago now.
Posted By: Tyrone Slothrop

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 09/11/19 11:54 AM

Kevin, I'm glad you shared. You've had a very trying and scary three years. It's amazing you were able to make time for piano at all. I think most would not have. I'm also happy that piano seems to have helped keep your world on kilter, worked as a health rehabilitation method for you, and has given you a new entré to a relationship with your father.
Posted By: bill_k34

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 09/16/19 04:56 PM

Cripes, there are so many moving stories on here and I'm afraid mine is completely uninspiring: I started playing the piano because I had more free time when my knees began to fail me and I couldn't play as much sport. I can happily report that playing the piano is very easy on the knees smile

After that fairly irreverent start, I can't imagine my life without the piano in it anymore. I'm almost three years in and my only regret - as with most adults - is that I didn't start sooner.
Posted By: JB_PW

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 09/16/19 06:04 PM

I think everyone's story is inspiring! Sorry to hear about your knees...

I feel regrets as well, though I'm trying to let that go. I am obsessed with piano now and can't imagine not playing. When I took lessons as a kid, I just wasn't ready for this level of commitment. I just wanted to play for fun and didn't want to put in any "work." So maybe this was the best time for me to return to it.
Posted By: Progman

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 09/16/19 06:30 PM

Welcome Bill! I'm a much later starter than you. You have got PLENTY of time. Best hobby ever.
Posted By: bill_k34

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 09/17/19 05:14 PM

Originally Posted by Progman
Welcome Bill! I'm a much later starter than you. You have got PLENTY of time. Best hobby ever.


True. I suppose I have a good 30 years, statistically!
Posted By: kcvanar

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 10/13/19 09:36 AM

after i watched evgeny kissin playing la campanella on youtube i also wanted to play la campanella thats the only reason i started playing piano smile i am 24 my goal is to play la campanella before i reach 30 lol
Posted By: Jytte

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 10/13/19 10:25 AM

Kevin, what a trying time you have had. Piano isn't a 'cure all' of course, but in your case probably just the right thing. I wish you well, and best of luck with your trip in November.
Posted By: Tyrone Slothrop

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 10/13/19 12:26 PM

Originally Posted by kcvanar
after i watched evgeny kissin playing la campanella on youtube i also wanted to play la campanella thats the only reason i started playing piano smile i am 24 my goal is to play la campanella before i reach 30 lol

Welcome to PW, kcvanar.

That was also my only reason for starting piano. But I'm estimating another 11 years for me (I'm 20 months along - 16 of that with a teacher).
Posted By: cmb13

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 10/13/19 01:00 PM

Originally Posted by kcvanar
after i watched evgeny kissin playing la campanella on youtube i also wanted to play la campanella thats the only reason i started playing piano smile i am 24 my goal is to play la campanella before i reach 30 lol

Tyrone’s twin!!

Welcome to the forum and good luck with your studies!
Posted By: Animisha

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 10/13/19 01:22 PM

Originally Posted by kcvanar
after i watched evgeny kissin playing la campanella on youtube i also wanted to play la campanella thats the only reason i started playing piano smile i am 24 my goal is to play la campanella before i reach 30 lol


Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
That was also my only reason for starting piano. But I'm estimating another 11 years for me (I'm 20 months along - 16 of that with a teacher).

If I remember correctly, Tyrone didn't think it would take him all of 12 years when he started learning to play the piano... smile
Posted By: Tyrone Slothrop

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 10/13/19 01:29 PM

Originally Posted by Animisha
Originally Posted by kcvanar
after i watched evgeny kissin playing la campanella on youtube i also wanted to play la campanella thats the only reason i started playing piano smile i am 24 my goal is to play la campanella before i reach 30 lol


Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
That was also my only reason for starting piano. But I'm estimating another 11 years for me (I'm 20 months along - 16 of that with a teacher).

If I remember correctly, Tyrone didn't think it would take him all of 12 years when he started learning to play the piano... smile

Yep! I estimated 3 years. Then I extended that to 7 years. And now I'm thinking more like 13, of which 2 have passed. 😩

Before one starts, one doesn't know what I doesn't know. And even after one does start, one barely knows what one doesn't know. And in the Gulfs of the Unknowing lie the Leviathans.... 😉
Posted By: cmb13

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 10/13/19 02:15 PM

Originally Posted by Animisha
Originally Posted by kcvanar
after i watched evgeny kissin playing la campanella on youtube i also wanted to play la campanella thats the only reason i started playing piano smile i am 24 my goal is to play la campanella before i reach 30 lol


Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
That was also my only reason for starting piano. But I'm estimating another 11 years for me (I'm 20 months along - 16 of that with a teacher).

If I remember correctly, Tyrone didn't think it would take him all of 12 years when he started learning to play the piano... smile

Now he/she knows the truth smile. I personally have no such aspirations. My goal is to play the Chopin Nocturnes and similar style / level with ease and grace....without it taking months to learn each one. Getting closer wink.
Posted By: KevinM

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 10/13/19 02:48 PM

Originally Posted by cmb13
Originally Posted by Animisha
Originally Posted by kcvanar
after i watched evgeny kissin playing la campanella on youtube i also wanted to play la campanella thats the only reason i started playing piano smile i am 24 my goal is to play la campanella before i reach 30 lol


Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
That was also my only reason for starting piano. But I'm estimating another 11 years for me (I'm 20 months along - 16 of that with a teacher).

If I remember correctly, Tyrone didn't think it would take him all of 12 years when he started learning to play the piano... smile

Now he/she knows the truth smile. I personally have no such aspirations. My goal is to play the Chopin Nocturnes and similar style / level with ease and grace....without it taking months to learn each one. Getting closer wink.


It was listening to Chopin's Nocturnes when I decided that it was going to be piano as my therapy. My ambition now feels very like yours. It is the ease and grace bit that will take the time to reach.
Posted By: cmb13

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 10/13/19 02:53 PM

Originally Posted by KevinM


It was listening to Chopin's Nocturnes when I decided that it was going to be piano as my therapy. My ambition now feels very like yours. It is the ease and grace bit that will take the time to reach.

I agree. I got the C#min down but it took months. Now I’m nearly finished with the E min. Both the posthumous ones. They still take months but they’re coming more easily now. I can almost sight read them but playing them to speed with fluency is a totally different story. Months!
thumb thumb
Posted By: Suzysue

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 10/15/19 01:49 PM

It snuck up on me....I was watching Star Trek Discovery this summer and fell in love with the intro music, which lead me to learning the violin in July (I know Star Trek is not violin) I have been struggle with rhythm while learn the fingering and bowing, so I thought about getting a cheap keyboard to plunk out the rhythm. Then I thought about a flute (I played one in jr. high for 1.5 years and never practiced) then I heard the mandolin had the same fingering as the violin. Then I looked into all three and settled on the cheap keyboard. So I talked to my violin instructor and she loved the idea of getting a keyboard especially if I wanted to learn music theory but she told me to get a weighted keyboard. So I splurged and got a Yamaha P-125. I don't have the room or budget for an acoustic. The first night I had it I played songs from my Suzuki Violin book. Now I have the Faber and Alfred's books. I sit and play a little piano and then grab my violin - it is too much fun!

My music history - forced to learn organ (my dad loved the organ and we had one) when I wanted to learn the piano at age 10, only took two lesson, then flute in jr. high. I remember my mom getting a piano, but only remember learning one song and the dog howling. Until July have not looked at a piece of music in 40 years. I now actually love practicing with no pressure what so ever.
Posted By: Tyrone Slothrop

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 10/15/19 01:59 PM

Welcome to PW, SuzySue. The P125 is definitely a nice piano for only just plunking and plinking! smile

Since you have both, you should know that there are long-standing threads on both Alfreds and Fabers, which you can join in if you like.
Posted By: WhiteLotus

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 10/15/19 09:02 PM

My story isnt exactly a happy one. I wish it was. I work in emergency medicine and I have been part of some "extreme" situations resulting in me having to seek counseling. I'm on the fast track to cumulative PTSD. The area I work in is pretty rough. My counselor suggested that I find a way to express myself and let it out. I don't much care for talking about it because it takes me back. I tried painting and drawing but I'm really not very good at it. I came home one day after a particularly stressful day and searched calm music on YouTube. The second song that played was a solo piano and the sound really touched me. I decided that I wanted to be able to use that instrument as my voice. By happenstance a few weeks later I had a electric keyboard gifted to me by someone who wasn't using it. I just started my journey and had my first lesson yesterday. I can't play much now but as I listen to more and more classic pieces the desire to be able to sound like that grows. I feel this is something I will surely enjoy as I have already. That's my story.
Posted By: KevinM

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 10/15/19 10:02 PM

Welcome WhiteLocus. Sorry to hear things are tough for you now.

Like it is for you piano is my therapy. Might just be a displacement activity but I am 100% fine with that.

I am looking forward to hearing how your piano journey goes.
Posted By: dogperson

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 10/15/19 10:58 PM

Originally Posted by KevinM
Welcome WhiteLocus. Sorry to hear things are tough for you now.

Like it is for you piano is my therapy. Might just be a displacement activity but I am 100% fine with that.

I am looking forward to hearing how your piano journey goes.


Don’t many of us consider playing a form of therapy? Have a bad work day: go absorb yourself in practicing and the world drifts away. There is not much as good as making music with your own two hands.

Welcome White Lotus!!!! Snoop around at the ABF threads and you will find a lot of interest
Posted By: cmb13

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 10/16/19 01:19 AM

Good luck White Lotus, I hope you learn to play well and it brings you great happiness and serenity.
Posted By: Spannah

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 11/05/19 10:08 PM

I play because I can’t do structured exercise anymore. Anything beyond ambling is beyond my ability because I become excessive.

Just over two years ago whilst seeing a fab new therapist for my anorexia/exercise addiction I was set a challenge of coming up with a hobby that was physical but not food or exercise related. So I went out and bought a digital piano. Impulsive, me?

I played the flute to grade 8 level in my teens so had a grounding in music, though only the treble clef, and we’d had a piano at home that I could play during the holidays when I was a child - though it was an ancient, uncared for upright that had been my great grandad’s when Adam was a boy and had spent many years in storage whilst the family was abroad.

So now I have an outlet that isn’t my physical self. I make sure I touch my piano every day, even if it’s a few scales. It’s why the drama I had with the new piano being broken was so distressing because it’s something that keeps me safe.

I don’t do grades. I learn what I like. I argue with my teacher and am a petulant, 40-something, teenager with him at times. But I make progress and I still play. It keeps me safe.
Posted By: Tyrone Slothrop

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 11/05/19 10:20 PM

Originally Posted by Spannah
I play because I can’t do structured exercise anymore. Anything beyond ambling is beyond my ability because I become excessive.

Just over two years ago whilst seeing a fab new therapist for my anorexia/exercise addiction I was set a challenge of coming up with a hobby that was physical but not food or exercise related. So I went out and bought a digital piano. Impulsive, me?

I played the flute to grade 8 level in my teens so had a grounding in music, though only the treble clef, and we’d had a piano at home that I could play during the holidays when I was a child - though it was an ancient, uncared for upright that had been my great grandad’s when Adam was a boy and had spent many years in storage whilst the family was abroad.

So now I have an outlet that isn’t my physical self. I make sure I touch my piano every day, even if it’s a few scales. It’s why the drama I had with the new piano being broken was so distressing because it’s something that keeps me safe.

I don’t do grades. I learn what I like. I argue with my teacher and am a petulant, 40-something, teenager with him at times. But I make progress and I still play. It keeps me safe.

This is wonderful that you've adopted the piano in your recovery, Spannah. thumb

May I ask though, as a good flautist, why didn't you just take up flute again? Was there something that drew you to piano in particular?
Posted By: Spannah

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 11/05/19 10:38 PM

Good question. I did get it out again and play a bit again and very quickly got frustrated with not remembering fingerings and struggling with music I’d played with ease 25 years earlier. I’m a bit of an Eeyore so only saw the downside of my slide backwards so taking up a new instrument that had a very different skillset, yet drew on my teenage experience seemed sensible. Also being a Londoner and having very close neighbours having an instrument you can play silently is a bonus. Someone on the street next to us plays the drums and man do I I hate him.

Why I chose the piano rather than the cello or the guitar is down to a certain impulsiveness in my personality I think. That and a little nostalgia in having adored my great grandad (he died when I was 15 so I did know him) and having his collection of sheet music that I’ve never been able to play.

Needless to say my therapist was delighted.
Posted By: KevinM

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 11/06/19 12:10 AM

Originally Posted by Spannah
Good question. I did get it out again and play a bit again and very quickly got frustrated with not remembering fingerings and struggling with music I’d played with ease 25 years earlier. I’m a bit of an Eeyore so only saw the downside of my slide backwards so taking up a new instrument that had a very different skillset, yet drew on my teenage experience seemed sensible. Also being a Londoner and having very close neighbours having an instrument you can play silently is a bonus. Someone on the street next to us plays the drums and man do I I hate him.

Why I chose the piano rather than the cello or the guitar is down to a certain impulsiveness in my personality I think. That and a little nostalgia in having adored my great grandad (he died when I was 15 so I did know him) and having his collection of sheet music that I’ve never been able to play.

Needless to say my therapist was delighted.


Like you I am a bit of an Eeyore. I don't have your experience, but do completely understand wanting to take on something that takes you completely away from your unhealthy thoughts. I do have to work a bit not to bring them to the piano, but when practising there are times the concentration required removes everything else from my mind which I love.

Welcome and I hope you keep staying around and always remember to be kind to yourself.
Posted By: Calavera

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 11/12/19 08:56 PM

Hello, I started learning piano as a child on a whim. Big sis wanted to learn and so did I because I was impressionable and thought it'd be fun. And it was fun, to some extent, though I was never that passionate about it. Piano was definitely not one of my main hobbies. Eventually, after I'd started university and then got a job, I only played once in a while, i.e. less than once a week.

Only recently have I made music one of main interests. I may have less time to play than in my childhood and teenage years because of work work work, but at l(e)ast I really put my heart and soul into it when I do get to play. I guess this could be seen as a part of the journey of self-improvement I started a few years ago and which, among other things, involves having more wholesome hobbies (read: less TV and Netflix).

What keeps me going this time? The main reason is that playing music makes me feel... something. Something that nothing else - not even listening to music - makes me feel. I really enjoy that. Some aspects of music are pretty mathematical, e.g. tempo. But then there's all the rest, all the indescribable and ineffable stuff that any good musician worth his salt should be mindful of when playing. Think of musical terms in a sheet like 'dolce', 'dolente', 'con moto' etc. How the heck are you supposed to play something softly/tenderly, sorrowfully or with movement? What should you do exactly with your hands? It's extremely difficult to explain, but thankfully not always hard to do. In the end, some musical directives are not so much about your hands, they're really about your heart! Cheesy, I know, but I love that about music.
Posted By: Tyrone Slothrop

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 11/12/19 09:11 PM

Originally Posted by Calavera
Hello, I started learning piano as a child on a whim. Big sis wanted to learn and so did I because I was impressionable and thought it'd be fun. And it was fun, to some extent, though I was never that passionate about it. Piano was definitely not one of my main hobbies. Eventually, after I'd started university and then got a job, I only played once in a while, i.e. less than once a week.

Welcome to PW, Calavera!

Originally Posted by Calavera
Think of musical terms in a sheet like 'dolce', 'dolente', 'con moto' etc. How the heck are you supposed to play something softly/tenderly, sorrowfully or with movement? What should you do exactly with your hands? It's extremely difficult to explain, but thankfully not always hard to do. In the end, some musical directives are not so much about your hands, they're really about your heart! Cheesy, I know, but I love that about music.

Oh my, you've raised one of the things I find frustrating about 19th century music! I have trouble figuring it out. 🤔
Posted By: Calavera

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 11/13/19 06:56 AM

Thanks for the warm welcome Tyrone!

Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop

Oh my, you've raised one of the things I find frustrating about 19th century music! I have trouble figuring it out. 🤔


Do you have trouble understanding the meaning of Italian terms, or do you understand the terms but have difficulty following the directives? If it's the former, well, it's a good thing you can look musical terms up easily nowadays - I personally have a cheat sheet lying somewhere. If it's the latter, uh... 'give your feelings a free rein' would probably be my advice. I agree that when a part of a piece doesn't resonate with you enough, trying to follow this kind of directives can be a little frustrating. On the other hand, it also allows a musician's individuality to shine. If you ask two pianists to play the same part 'espressivo', one player's espressivo may sound different from the other's, and they both might differ from how the composer played it.
Posted By: Koombot

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 11/13/19 09:07 AM

I was speaking to some guys offshore about how in time travel films they always worry about going back in time and making some minor change like drinking a cup of coffee or killing a bug that has a massive effect on the future but people don't really consider making a tiny change and how that could have a massive effect on the future.

Fast forward a few weeks and (it was quiet) I ended up watching the various pianist on YouTube with the syntesia show going on. Very pretty and it was at that point that it kind of dawned on me for the first time that there were patterns to music. Thought "I wish I realised this 20 years ago and learned and instrument".

It slowly dawned on me what I was actually doing.

Bought a piano a week after I got back. Going to see a tutor on Monday (hopefully). Very VERY excited.

Want to get good strong fundamentals. I'm trying to understand music theory as best I can. I'm finding it all very fun. Even the newbie songs are good. I spent an hour playing with On top of old smokey playing with dynamics, the pedal, using chord instead of broken chords, playing stacatto on the left legato on the right. Its just entertaining. I've been trying sort of swaying into chord changes if that makes sense. Not trying teleport my hand to the next chord change, but just trying to be fluid. Seems to help too.
Posted By: Jytte

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 11/13/19 09:52 AM

Koombot, learning to play the piano isn't exactly a 'tiny change', it's huge LOL And so much fun to be able to make 'sound' yourself.
Posted By: Tyrone Slothrop

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 11/13/19 12:13 PM

Originally Posted by Calavera
Thanks for the warm welcome Tyrone!

Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop

Oh my, you've raised one of the things I find frustrating about 19th century music! I have trouble figuring it out. 🤔


Do you have trouble understanding the meaning of Italian terms, or do you understand the terms but have difficulty following the directives? If it's the former, well, it's a good thing you can look musical terms up easily nowadays - I personally have a cheat sheet lying somewhere. If it's the latter, uh... 'give your feelings a free rein' would probably be my advice. I agree that when a part of a piece doesn't resonate with you enough, trying to follow this kind of directives can be a little frustrating. On the other hand, it also allows a musician's individuality to shine. If you ask two pianists to play the same part 'espressivo', one player's espressivo may sound different from the other's, and they both might differ from how the composer played it.

I have trouble with seemingly conflicting adjectives ('quietly loud", etc) which seems to especially occur in 19th century musical scores. I also have problems with most 19th century instructions as most 19th century musicians and music critics and analysts seem to have transcended our humble plane of existence. 🤣

For example, the following commentary is written by a contemporary associate of Liszt's. The words are understandable. Half the meaning is either mush or transcendent. I can't figure out which.

(The below article is being cutoff for some reason. Here is a link to the full thing.)

[Linked Image] 🙄
Posted By: Tyrone Slothrop

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 11/13/19 12:21 PM

Originally Posted by Koombot
I was speaking to some guys offshore about how in time travel films they always worry about going back in time and making some minor change like drinking a cup of coffee or killing a bug that has a massive effect on the future but people don't really consider making a tiny change and how that could have a massive effect on the future.

Fast forward a few weeks and (it was quiet) I ended up watching the various pianist on YouTube with the syntesia show going on. Very pretty and it was at that point that it kind of dawned on me for the first time that there were patterns to music. Thought "I wish I realised this 20 years ago and learned and instrument".

It slowly dawned on me what I was actually doing.

Bought a piano a week after I got back. Going to see a tutor on Monday (hopefully). Very VERY excited.

Want to get good strong fundamentals. I'm trying to understand music theory as best I can. I'm finding it all very fun. Even the newbie songs are good. I spent an hour playing with On top of old smokey playing with dynamics, the pedal, using chord instead of broken chords, playing stacatto on the left legato on the right. Its just entertaining. I've been trying sort of swaying into chord changes if that makes sense. Not trying teleport my hand to the next chord change, but just trying to be fluid. Seems to help too.

Welcome to PW, Koombot! Music theory alone is not as helpful as music theory tied to the instrument. In fact, my teacher has me working through a series of workbooks called Fundamentals of Piano Theory, which underscores this linkage. Enjoy your piano journey!
Posted By: Calavera

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 11/13/19 07:01 PM

Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop

For example, the following commentary is written by a contemporary associate of Liszt's. The words are understandable. Half the meaning is either mush or transcendent. I can't figure out which.


I think I can actually make some sense of your article, though some parts definitely sound like mumbo-jumbo to me... It reminds me of a jocular observation by a former colleague of mine, who had just got her PhD degree: "You know, if you're giving a presentation about your research, you just need to blather about some complicated-sounding nonsense. You'll look smart and your audience will assume they are dumb because they won't understand anything."
Posted By: Tyrone Slothrop

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 11/14/19 10:41 AM

Originally Posted by Calavera
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
For example, the following commentary is written by a contemporary associate of Liszt's. The words are understandable. Half the meaning is either mush or transcendent. I can't figure out which.
I think I can actually make some sense of your article, though some parts definitely sound like mumbo-jumbo to me... It reminds me of a jocular observation by a former colleague of mine, who had just got her PhD degree: "You know, if you're giving a presentation about your research, you just need to blather about some complicated-sounding nonsense. You'll look smart and your audience will assume they are dumb because they won't understand anything."

Lina Ramann is only one example of this. The more "artsy-fartsy" the 19th century musical composer, performer, appreciator, critic, etc. was, the more exoteric the vocabulary and usage, describing things which are quite logically impossible. 🙄 By the beginning of the 20th century, musicians and critics appear to have largely gotten over themselves....
Posted By: lisalewis7

Re: Why Do You Play The Piano? - 11/14/19 11:55 AM

I studied in the piano class for 5 years when I was a schoolgirl. These were great times. Then we sold my instrument and I didn’t sit down for the game anymore. Actually, I really miss the piano. I think that in the next couple of years I will definitely resume my lessons
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