Why you must learn to play the piano.
I can't forget the look upon my piano teachers face. She asked why I was returning to lessons.
I said "because I want to be a pianist......"
(stifled sneeze/cough/guffaw) "Er...well" She intervened
No, I mean I want to play the piano....a little better"
"Ah right, well...well we can do something about that."
Now this taught me that I was no pianist, however I went on to become a 'quite good' piano player...you see there is 'quite' a difference.
A piano player enjoys what s/he does, can sight read and has a good enough knowledge of music to be able to self teach. Thus opening up plenty of avenues such as accompaniment for school assemblies, small choirs and even school musicals. A piano player has a good ear for music and can pick up and play most things once heard a few times.
A pianist, is quite simply a professional with a great talent who gets paid for what they do. They play music exactly as it should be played, with grace, skill and above all understanding. They're worth the money you pay to hear them.
Now that we've cleared up the definitions, we can go onto the nice bit. The bit about why it is so marvellous to be able to play the piano.
5 MIGHTY good reasons
- Piano playing gives you a ticket to the land of zen. It allows you to leap out of monotony for just a few moments. You sit down, open a book (or don't depending on how you like to play) and just disappear into a musical place. Now this is dependent on a few factors, primarily your ability and secondarily your mood. You cannot enjoy yourself if you're dreadful, or more so if you're in a foul mood. Having said that, there are a few pieces which lend themselves wonderfully well to a temper tantrum (although perhaps not to your cat)
- There is no tuning required, no assembly of the instrument, (aside from sweeping the mass of papers and picture books, Lego and teddies which seem to breed on it
- The piano itself is a lovely piece of furniture which lends itself to most houses. We live in one of those Victorian terraced houses, although luckily we're on the end, therefore with our smart little upright pushed against the wall, we can't upset the neighbours too intentionally.
- It's a great party piece to be able to leap onto the piano in times of need and pick your way along some tune or another to the uproar of cheers and back thuds. "I never knew you could play the piano..... Why you're actually quite good!" (This sporadic praise is super medicine for ones ego) Also, having small children in tow, leads to no end of piano playing opportunities, such as Christmas carol services for mini angels, shepherds and twinkly stars. (It's our little girls first nativity this year!!)
- It presents endless challenges so you never have the excuse to succumb to. "I know... I'll watch an episode or two of Friends/Antiques Roadshow/X-Factor" Instead you march meaningfully to the piano stool and whisk out some Schubert, Mozart or Chopin, and sight read it, so excruciatingly slowly that the pieces may as well be The Hokey Kokey, or chopsticks. Nevertheless, you are doing a constructive, character building, soul developing, thing. Yes you are, (Do not smirk)
There end my 5 pillars of wisdom. Therefore, if you do not play already, get thee gone and find tuition. It will be an enlightening experience I promise (after a good few years of plinky plonk learning music) No not really, I have to say that because the piano is an instrument that stands alone, it really shouldn't sound too dreadful in even the early stages of tuition, quite simply because it is in-tune, unlike the screechy violin or the farting trumpet, the thunderous drums or the shrieking whistle.
Thank you for reading!