We have all listened to music and liked a certain song. Some- times, we want to learn how to play that song on an instrument. Some want to learn it on a violin. Others want to try it on a saxophone, but for me, I wanted to try the piano. According to an article on listontrap.com, the piano is ranked number seven on the top 10 hardest instruments to play, which I didn’t know about when I first wanted to play the piano, but I was destined to learn how anyway.
On Christmas Day 2010, my family opened our gifts together. When I looked at the long present, I assumed it was for someone else, but when I read the tag, it was for me. I decided to open it last, and when I did, it was an electric piano.
At first it was very exciting. I now owned an instrument. I gave it a couple of whirls. However, I eventually became bored, and it ended up stored away under my bed.
About a year later, while I was spending time on our family computer, I stumbled upon a video that showed the history of the Intel jingle. At the time, I was interested in Intel, as I really liked their iconic jingle you hear at the end of every Intel commercial. The video showed the music notes. I already knew how to read music so I quickly grabbed my piano, set it on the table and learned to play the song.
Later at dinner, I told my parents I learned how to play the Intel Jingle, that’s when my mother asked me if I wanted to take piano lessons. I decided it would be a great experience to learn how to play the piano, so I accepted the offer, however there was one problem. Where can we find a piano instructor? We looked for a long time until August 2012, when we found one. Jason Wood would be my first piano instructor. At the time, he was the musical director of CROW, and we already knew a lot about him at the time. I studied with him for four years.
In the first year, I was introduced to Alfred’s piano lesson books, and that would be my learning base. Over our time together, I learned how to count notes, time signatures and different music symbols, such as dynamics, slurs, ties, sharps and flats. In 2013, I performed at my first piano recital, which would be during my vocal showcase. I was a quick learner and I then became the most advanced piano student.
In 2016, I was finally reaching Jason’s level in piano. is caused lessons to be a little bit longer, and a bit more stressful. Eventually, I reached a point where we would need to find a new piano teacher. I then knew that a teacher that taught at the middle school could help me advance my piano learning abilities. Her name was Ms. Debra Young. She used to teach at both the middle and high school, but left this school year. However, she was able to help me and we made a great duo.
ere was one small change though. Instead of only learning with the Alfred system, I would be learning classical music too. is would then make piano more interesting, as I would now start learning more music. We learned great pieces, including the famous “Für Elise.” We had good times together. Sometimes, we would talk about funny piano parodies, such as “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star — 1 Million Notes Edition” and “Ode to Insane Joy.”
In June 2017, I once again had to find a new piano teacher. At first I thought it would be the end of my music pursuing, as I already retired from taking vocal lessons. Then my mother said she knew someone who also taught piano. When she was looking for a piano teacher in 2009, she found Florence resident Kathy Parsons as an option. However, Kathy said she only taught intermediate students. My mother decided to try again if she would accept me as a student. is time, I was accepted. So now I would be taught by a very good teacher.
For my first lessons, I brought over all the music that I had learned previously with Ms. Young and Jason Wood to give her a taste of what I was currently learning. After I had showcased all of the music I had learned, she decided that I should start learning new music and a little bit of classical.
The first piece I learned was “Overcome” by David Nevue. It then became challenging, fun and convenient to learn new music. Then I learned other pieces like “Wonderland” by David Nevue, “Vesuvius” by David Lanz, and “Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas.” My favorite song that I learned was another song by David Lanz, “Behind the Waterfall/Desert Rain Medley.” Lately, I finished a piano recital and am now learning a new piece by David Lanz, called “Return to the Heart.”
Overall, piano has taught me to be a critical thinker and keep on trying until it is perfected. Sure, piano may be the seventh hardest instrument to learn, but once you learn to handle it, it doesn’t even feel like it’s so hard at all. I encourage everyone to give piano a try. It is a beautiful instrument that if played in the right way, can attract a bigger audience than you expect.