When I was two-years-old, I touched the keys on my mother’s piano for the first time. I remember making my way up on her piano bench and plunking my hands down on the keys. I also recall how happy my mother was that I was showing an interest! She asked me if I wanted to learn how to play and I said, “Yes.”
My mother’s dream was to be a concert pianist. She was unable to fulfill it, so it became her dream that I become one. It was her dream, not mine. I studied the piano extensively for 15 years.
It was more like I was trapped for 15 years. From age two to seventeen, I had a love-hate relationship with that piano. I was not allowed to ever quit, because in my mother’s words, “I am not raising a quitter.” And so, I had no choice but to play.
Believe me, I tried on many occasions to quit. I had temper tantrums about it. I threw piano books across the room. I cried. I screamed. And every once in a long while, I enjoyed playing.
My life revolved around that piano, and it was used against me. I wasn’t allowed to do XYZ until I practiced. I would try to get away with NOT playing. It didn’t last long. Usually, kids have to sit at the dinner table until they eat everything. Me? I had to practice piano before I could do anything else. Piano came first.
The moment I came home from school, I practiced. During school and summer breaks, I started my day by practicing. I was deeply conditioned, and I did it so that I can move onto something I really loved, like reading novels, writing poetry and exercising.
Then, in the summer before my senior year of high school, my parents separated. My mom went from being a stay-at-home mom to a working mom, and she no longer had the energy to make practice demands of me. Since my mother and stepfather no longer told me how to spend my time, I became very involved with extracurricular activities at school, such as readers’ theater, theater club, one-act play club, poetry club, speech and debate, calculator club, math club, science club, and Future Teachers of America. My senior year of high school was quite satisfying. I engulfed my life with friends and activities I LOVED!
My birthday is on February 6th. For over a decade, every year, for my birthday, as a gift to myself, I learn a new skill. Last year, I took singing lessons, the previous year it was John Martin’s Way of the Jedi class, another year, I took ice skating lessons, another year, it was physical therapy due to an ice skating injury. LOL.
This year my sacral choose the piano! Up until a week ago, I had no idea what skill I was going to work on during my 45th year until I went to a concert last week and watched five bands perform. I left the venue knowing that I wanted to do THAT!!! I wanted to play the keyboard! My way! I was going to revisit a skill I had abandoned 28 years ago. My mind was going … WTF!?!
The following day, I found myself on Thumbtack and searched for a piano instructor. I had emails from several instructors, and my sacral picked one. I called her. She scheduled me in right away. I had my first lesson 2 days ago, and my new teacher is perfect for me! My fingers and brain connections are very rusty, but I remembered to read music by sight. In less than a month, I will be a solid intermediate student. Her words, not mine. 🙂
Since my lesson two days ago, I am now the proud owner of three piano instruction manuals and a digital piano. The day after my lesson, I woke up to my fingers tapping out chords and notes. My body is satisfied! This time I’m doing it for me.