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I absolutely agree that it's a form of personal expression as well as any kind of art. A way to bring some beauty to life. A way to open a soul and release blocks or negative moments. Just somebody dances, somebody paints, and somebody plays musical instruments smile

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I play because I love classical music so much and playing it is a true joy. I also play because it is hard, it is a challenge smile

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I had always wanted to learn how to play the piano but convinced myself that I had no musical talent and then that I was too old to start. When my beloved wife (who was an organist and fine singer) died in 2019, I began to look into learning the piano with all of the usual questions (I have never played an instrument, I’m 68 and too old to begin, how do you learn, etc) but we both loved music especially classical and after a year of complete grieving I decided to put my loneliness to use. I found a wonderful and very patient teacher who teaches children and adults, bought a Yamaha p515 (which fits in the little bedroom one of my sons used to have and sounds pretty good for a learning instrument) and began with my teacher following Faber Piano Adventures for Adults at the very beginning. We started just before the lockdown and the first 9 months were on Zoom exclusively, then in her backyard with masks and finally back indoors with her 1920s Steinway. I am still a fairly rank beginner with a year and a half under my belt, but I can read music now, and am slowly moving forward, one lessson a week with 2 45 minute practice sessions a day. It has become central to my daily routine. At my age (I will be 70 in two weeks) I doubt that I will ever reach the proficiency that I would like or that I will move beyond the p515, although I read about and watch videos on pianos every day. I look forward to enjoying Piano World.

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what a lovely story! welcome to PianoWorld— it’s a friendly place, I’ve found. How wonderful that it was the enjoyment that you and your wife had together that brought you to a whole world to explore, filled with curious things, hard challenges, and many delightful things around every corner. It’s as if she somehow threw you a rope from the other side, braided from the many happy moments you shared with her, as she herself played and practiced. And also: great practice routine!


Mary

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Kawaii CA98; Roland GO:Piano (61-keys); Yamaha PSS-30
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The reason I picked up the piano again after playing for a few years as a child, was originally because a quite lengthy and extremely stifling relationship had come to an end and I was happily able to experience time and space again. I'm not sure where the idea exactly came from now, but I decided to fill that time and space with learning to play the piano. I think in all honesty I was looking for something solitary yet exciting in life.

Now however, a year and a half in, the reason I continue to play is different. I am drawn to the piano because it is a journey without destination. This appeals to me because of the following: I am an 'unusual' case in that, at 36, I have to a large extent achieved what I set out to achieve in my career - and it didn't particularly make me as happy as I thought it would. I was much happier and much more driven when I was journeying towards that goal. I discovered that being on the road to your goals was infinitely better than arriving there.

I can see that learning the piano is a journey that will never 'end' - and I warm to that, for the above reason.

In terms of less ethereal reasons why I play, I do hope one day to be able to teach singing and accompany singers (I am a professional singer myself) but this is quite a long way off yet.

(As a side note, I actually fell out of love a bit with music in my early 30s; something which I never thought would happen. I found myself only listening to people talking.. radio, podcasts and the like. An unintended result of me picking up the piano has been that it has introduced me to classical music, and I feel like I've stumbled across a whole universe of treasures.)


Weekly uploads on my journey to ABRSM Grade 8:
www.youtube.com/JeremyTaylorPianoProgress
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Hi Jeremy, thank you for such a nice posting! As you say, it is quite special to discover at an early age that - at least in your case - the journeying is more enjoyable than reaching your goal. This of course opens up to the question what you will do the next fifty or so years of your life. Any plans?

Very true, learning the piano is a journey that will never end.

I have had two musical re-awakenings myself. First, when my first husband introduced me to opera. Second one, when I started to play the piano. I tremendously enjoy practising some pieces, and listening to the beautiful sounds my piano makes, that I would not have enjoyed half as much if I just had listened to a recording.

And yes, classical music is a whole universe of treasures!


Playing the piano is learning to create, playfully and deeply seriously, our own music in the world.
*
... feeling like the pianist on the Titanic ...
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Originally Posted by Jeremy Taylor
The reason I picked up the piano again after playing for a few years as a child, was originally because a quite lengthy and extremely stifling relationship had come to an end and I was happily able to experience time and space again. I'm not sure where the idea exactly came from now, but I decided to fill that time and space with learning to play the piano. I think in all honesty I was looking for something solitary yet exciting in life.

Now however, a year and a half in, the reason I continue to play is different. I am drawn to the piano because it is a journey without destination. This appeals to me because of the following: I am an 'unusual' case in that, at 36, I have to a large extent achieved what I set out to achieve in my career - and it didn't particularly make me as happy as I thought it would. I was much happier and much more driven when I was journeying towards that goal. I discovered that being on the road to your goals was infinitely better than arriving there.

I can see that learning the piano is a journey that will never 'end' - and I warm to that, for the above reason.

In terms of less ethereal reasons why I play, I do hope one day to be able to teach singing and accompany singers (I am a professional singer myself) but this is quite a long way off yet.

(As a side note, I actually fell out of love a bit with music in my early 30s; something which I never thought would happen. I found myself only listening to people talking.. radio, podcasts and the like. An unintended result of me picking up the piano has been that it has introduced me to classical music, and I feel like I've stumbled across a whole universe of treasures.)

Fantastic story!

Last edited by AnnieMal; 12/15/21 04:06 PM.
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Originally Posted by Animisha
Hi Jeremy, thank you for such a nice posting! As you say, it is quite special to discover at an early age that - at least in your case - the journeying is more enjoyable than reaching your goal. This of course opens up to the question what you will do the next fifty or so years of your life. Any plans?

Very true, learning the piano is a journey that will never end.

I have had two musical re-awakenings myself. First, when my first husband introduced me to opera. Second one, when I started to play the piano. I tremendously enjoy practising some pieces, and listening to the beautiful sounds my piano makes, that I would not have enjoyed half as much if I just had listened to a recording.

And yes, classical music is a whole universe of treasures!

No plans as of yet. In some ways I feel like I’m treading water… in other ways it’s quite nice not being so career focussed. I can stop rowing, sit back and see where the winds take me for once.

Lovely to hear how music has entered your life in different ways and at different points!


Weekly uploads on my journey to ABRSM Grade 8:
www.youtube.com/JeremyTaylorPianoProgress
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I play the piano because of its beautiful sound and its effect on me.

I began my music studies in in 1965 at age 8. At the time, I took clarinet lessons and played in a concert and marching band. I never really liked the clarinet, but in those days you took what was available. I played until 1972 when, due to extreme circumstances, I stopped playing the clarinet.

I did not pick up the clarinet again until 40 years later. In 2016, while studying music theory and composition, I needed to learn to play the piano. Not just to work out chords, i.e., minor, major, diminished, etc. but to understand the mechanics of notes. It was kismet from there on.

I didn't know that the piano would take such a strong hold on me. The piano has always fascinated me, from its construction to its master. Two of the books had a direct effect on why I was drawn to the paino: The Piano Shop on the Left Bank by Thad Carhart and Play It Again: An Amateur Against the Impossible by Alan Rusbridger.

When I retire in 2022 I am going to focus my attention to improving my piano proficiency.

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When I was in high school (2012), I visited my friend's house.
He was my bandmate, a guitarist (I was the bassist).
There's a Casio keyboard in his house.
Played it for quite a while, and I started to think that piano is fun.
Maybe that was the start of my "hidden obsession" with piano. xD

I often tap the table on my classroom, emulating piano fingerings.
My economic teacher even pointed that out because I make some noise.
And I always play keyboard whenever I visited my friend's house.

After graduation (2015), I thought about becoming a pianist like Joe Hisaishi.
It was more of a vague idea, but I always have that in the back of my mind.
2018 I started to watch piano tutorials although I didn't have one.
They are simply fun to watch and to listen to.

January 2021 I'm able to buy Yamaha PSR E373.
Learning a lot of piano stuff until now. smile

I think piano is the most versatile instrument.
Piano can sound rich and lively even without the accompaniment of other instruments.
It's also perhaps the most fitting instrument for composing music.
That's why I play piano. smile


Composing music since 2013, started to learn piano on January 2021.
Here's my Youtube channel!
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCDtHTH23KxXtQi-E8WDHn6g
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I enjoyed Alan Rusbridger’s book too! I read it a number of years after it was first published, so the various political happenings that his book details on the side of the piano bits were less interesting I thought. It has inspired me to search for a “piano holiday” like the one he found himself on a few times.


Weekly uploads on my journey to ABRSM Grade 8:
www.youtube.com/JeremyTaylorPianoProgress
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"Why do you play the piano?" I ask myself that question frequently. Why am I spending so much time (1-2 hours per day) doing something I'm so bad at?

Two years ago, everyday, I was looking at the digital piano in my dining room that my younger daughter had taken lessons on when she was a child/teenager. (She was now in her 20s and out of the house.) It had just been sitting there for years with no one playing it. I had taken one year of piano lessons as a child, and so could decode music a little, but was basically a total beginner. At age 62, I had recently more-or-less retired, so I had time on my hands and a sense that I needed something new in my life. I called up the local music school, asked for a teacher, one was assigned to me, and we started from there. At the first lesson my teacher put a simple version of "My Favorite Things" on the music ledge and I responded, "I can't read that." I took it home, though, plunked it out on the piano, and came back and played it for him the next week. "Well, you got through it," he said, which I interpreted to mean, "That's terrible, but it's something we can work with." I immediately realized, "This teacher will not lie to me and say something is good when it's not." So we continued, and I developed a routine of practicing for an hour every morning, and then for 20 more minutes once or twice a day. It's the only thing I've ever done with that level of continuity and discipline.

(I will add that after two years I am still so nervous to play in front of anyone, including my teacher, that my hands shake uncontrollably.)

Though my progress sometimes feels infinitesimal, I continue because: 1) I like learning more about music, both classical and popular; 2) I eventually bought a used Charles Walter acoustic piano, which is one of the most beautiful objects I've ever owned; 3) I like my teacher (in addition to teaching me, we talk a lot about music in general; plus he's an excellent pianist with a fun personality); 4) I like focusing on something nonverbal that's not on a screen (I spent my career writing things on a computer); 5) I like the feeling of not being able to play a new piece at all and then gradually coming to learn it with practice--I enjoy the challenge; 6) my husband is an avocational jazz drummer, so we talk much more about music than we used to (and even play simple songs together!); and 7) it's truly a miracle to me when I play something that sounds halfway decent, which I can do, once in a while.


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I play the piano as when I was young I did not have the opportunity. My mother only wanted my older sister to take lessons.
I also believe that something was missing in my life, truthfully I do not really listen to music much and was curious why people seemed moved by it. I thought by experiencing music through playing might answer that question.
Also, I think that it is a good hobby in doors and I can still play when I am elderly so the longevity of this hobby is an advantage. I also like the process of learning as it can introduce you to a new world of things.

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I don't quite remember exactly why I started playing back when I was six years old, but I definitely had fun with it (most of the time) and I stuck with the piano from first grade to graduation.
I think the initial trigger was probably my parents encouraging me to give it a try. I started swimming for the same reason and never quit swimming for the same reason: My parents introduced me to it and I had fun, so I stuck with it.

Life conspired against continued playing after school, but I bought a good digital piano two weeks ago and I'm back to playing now.


All of my siblings also played throughout, though the piano was not the right instrument for all of them. More recently, my mom has started learning to play the harp.


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I play the piano because I am losing my hearing and want to get as much out of what I've got left. I hope if I can understand music and learn as much as I can, then music can't leave me completely.

I learnt piano as a kid for a couple of years and dropped it to focus on other things. I'm not at all a performer at heart. I didn't really like the music I was learning either.

In my 20s I received some extra tax return for overpaying my tax one year and decided to try it again, so I bought a digital piano, shoved it in the back of my hatchback and drove it across Sydney harbour bridge and then lugged it up three stories to my flat. I eventually managed to hammer out Fur Elise, but travelled a lot for work so couldn't really commit to it. Then I moved and it stayed in a box for years in storage. Finally I set it up again when my kids were babies, but I couldn't interest them.

Now they're older and my hearing loss is starting to show a downward trend again and we've had lockdowns etc for covid so I've picked it up again. With the internet I've been able try different music styles, such as Mad World (the version by Gary Jules) and clocks by Coldplay. After battling through on my own with slow sight reading skills and just working at it with brute force (I honestly didn't think I could play rhythmically) I realised I needed something more.

A month ago I found a teacher that has a background in jazz and plays in bands and I am learning about chord progression, circle of fifths and improvisation. I'm now picking out simple songs and playing them (Blink 182 "Dammit" was my first attempt, because it is the first song on the wikipedia Chord Progression topic that is in C major) and it felt so good to work it out. Like solving a puzzle. I've since been working on "Forever Young" (version by "Youth Group"), "Children" by Robert Miles and "No Surprises" by Radiohead. I thought that "playing by ear" was something special that you were born with, but I've learnt so much in the past month and a bit and realise it is so much more.

I'd love to get good enough to play Scar by Missy Higgins or even Comptine d'un Autre ete by Yann Tiersen or perhaps a Tori Amos song. It feels luxurious to be something that is purely for my own fun and entertainment (kids HATE hearing my playing!). I might try an exam later in the year too.

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I think in the back of my mind I always wanted to. When I was in grade school they started a music program (where we had none before) but piano was not an option so I picked drumming since I didn't really want to get into wind instruments. My Dad had also tried to teach me guitar but I struggled with that a lot and it was a pretty inconsistent learning process. In high school I could have I guess switched instruments and maybe should have as I was never passionate in the drumming aspect. By the time I was in college I had sold off my drum set and basically was done with musical playing altogether.12 years ago I tried to pick up the piano made the investment bought a digital piano and....then just kinda floundered. I lacked the motivation and attention span and at the time I was busy moving up the ranks at work and was quite busy. More recently hearing some concerts en really enjoying and appreciating the music from others on YT and Twitch has re-kindled my desire to learn how to play. This time I am doing things more slowly and regulated. First I got Skoove and Youcisian which makes practice fun because I do enjoy the gamification aspect of those apps and it works well for me to keep me engaged. After doing that for about 2 months and feeling like I am willing to really buckle down and form a habit of daily practice I have now gotten a piano teacher and had my first lesson last night! I am very excited. I would love to get a newer piano but frankly I don't think I am good enough to actually matter but given the shortages on digital pianos at the moment that is fine by me. Gives me time to improve and hopefully by September or so I will be in good enough that I may appreciate a newer improved instrument.

Ultimately my goal is I want to play soundtrack scores and classical pieces mostly for my own enjoyment. My wife even got her Soprano Saxophone and Clarinet back out so maybe we can do some duets. That would be a fun activity to do together!

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This is such a nice thread! So many touching stories. It is a pity we don't respond to them more. I will try to do so from now on.

Hi Emily! I loved your story of the digital piano that stood there and was not played.

Originally Posted by Emily R
"Why do you play the piano?" I ask myself that question frequently. Why am I spending so much time (1-2 hours per day) doing something I'm so bad at?

I can feel the same way. It seems that nothing comes easy to me, but with hard work, still I get somewhere. And so do you, because today something clicked in my head and I understood that you are the same Emily who wrote such a lovely essay about Piano world and the three pieces you are working on. So I need to protest when you call your progress infinitesimal. No no no! Working with those pieces after two years - you're doing absolutely fine.

Animisha


Playing the piano is learning to create, playfully and deeply seriously, our own music in the world.
*
... feeling like the pianist on the Titanic ...
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Why do play the piano?

First answer: Because it’s there,
in the dining room, between the kitchen and the living room.

Second answer: because I hope to play Bach.

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Originally Posted by Ay9293
I do not really listen to music much and was curious why people seemed moved by it. I thought by experiencing music through playing might answer that question.

Did it answer that question?

For me, practising the piano, and listening to my teacher analysing every piece, certainly has enriched my experience of listening to music.
However, never before and never after was listening to music so important as when I was fourteen!


Playing the piano is learning to create, playfully and deeply seriously, our own music in the world.
*
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Thank you, Animisha, for your kind words!


Emily R.
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