Digging up an old love

Digging up an old love

After deciding to double major in telecommunications and music, I started taking piano lessons again. This second major will require considerably more from me than just singing, so I figured it wasn’t such a bad idea to revisit an old hobby and bring back to life some of the piano skills I had in fifth grade.

In my first lesson, we started at the very beginning of my Level One book that I used in elementary school and worked through it to see what I could remember. I felt a little silly playing such simple pieces with cute names like “Swans on the Lake” and “Birthday Cake,” but it had been so long since I played that we had to start somewhere.

After playing a few of the songs, I started to play more smoothly, and it was like my hands picked up where they left off eight years ago. “Why did I ever stop doing this?” I thought to myself. Perhaps time was an issue; scheduling weekly lessons became more difficult as I grew older and busier. I took lessons for a couple years in fifth and sixth grade, but convinced myself that I knew enough of the basics to work through the rest of my piano books on my own. Soon after though, I stopped practicing regularly; and when I did practice, I wasn’t challenging myself to get any better.

Things like softball practice, homework, going to work or hanging out with friends took precedence over playing the piano.

What I’m now playing and practicing at home and at my lessons is still pretty basic, but being able to play songs from start to finish makes me feel accomplished. I realize now I missed playing the piano, and I wonder how good I might be now if I never stopped taking lessons.

I know I have plenty of time to grow as a musician. I’ll never forget the woman at one of my beginner recitals who performed in a recital with school-age children. The joy she clearly felt as her children hugged her and congratulated her after the recital always resonated with me. Continuing to find new ways to challenge ourselves is human nature, and for now, my next adventure will be growing as a pianist.