Dreams of learning to play piano?

Another post, unintentionally inspired by the morning post of a follow blogger, I meant to leave a simple comment on his site, not start a whole big production.

I had some thoughts on the subject and was responding to his question. As the comment grew longer, I decided it would make a good beginning to a needed piece for critique at writer’s group next month. It seemed like a good idea, at the time, to copy and paste my long winded reply in a new window on my page. It would be much easier than trying to rewrite the whole piece from memory.

My bright ideas aren’t so bright sometimes. It copied and pasted to my site fine, no problem. The trouble occurred back on his site when I finally hit send on the comment. WordPress was not impressed with my ingenuity and refused to send it. (There must have been some law violated with my actions.) I figured the whole effort would be wasted unless there was another way out of the dilemma. So… this works.

To get the full story, go to his site and read the post I was replying to. In the meantime; here’s the thumbnail sketch. He tells us he was musing on Facebook about regrets over wasted childhood opportunities to learn piano. He is turning forty in a few weeks and wondered if it’s too late to learn piano now, at this age. Many replied that’s it’s never to late. This morning he’s asking his blog readers the same question.

So here’s my long winded response, which normally I would never dream of posting on my own site.  Life is crazy sometimes – the surprise curves coming out of nowhere.

The comment needs to be expanded to a make-sense version:

“It’s never too late” is true. I had a landlord, many years ago, who decided to learn piano after he retired. Living in their basement suite, I can tell you he did. He didn’t have the talent to be awesome but he did learn. He also joined a local choir to sing in cantatas. He was loving his life.
As for the question of purchasing a piano or signing up for lessons – there are other options to consider in this age of technology. The other day I was listening to a tech show on the radio and they were talking about a new app out this year. It is like a game. As you play it, the game will teach you to play piano. It sounds like fun and would eliminate the need for a teacher or a piano. It’s worth checking out, anyway. I’ve heard there are even apps for playing on your smart phone or tablet. Musicians often use these apps to practice, in free moments when instruments are unavailable.
At the same time, though, I can also tell you the “want to” has to be there for it to work. I have had easy access to instruments most of my life. When I was young we had an out of tune piano with some dead keys. My grandmother offered to teach me but I couldn’t handle the discordant sounds. A missed opportunity for sure. Then several decades later we inherited an antique pump organ. It intrigued me and I put effort into learning, but not enough. We moved a lot and eventually, for practical reasons, traded it in for a electronic keyboard. My daughter was the only one to take lessons and in time, it went to live at her house.  Currently there is an out of tune piano in my basement (it came with the house) and two inherited accordions (my mother’s and grandmother’s.) I still haven’t learned to play. The want-to is there but apparently not enough of it to do the hard work. My mother, on the other hand, did the hard work. She practiced relentlessly as a kid (her life was full of loss and she needed a distraction) and played all of her life, both at home and publicly in groups.
Sometimes, I still think about my lost chances. Lately I’ve come to realize, while I haven’t learned to play, I’ve scratched the itch in another way. I have a large Gaither Vocal Band and Homecoming, video collection, I play them often and love to sing along. I’ve learned to sing harmony (privately only, of course) and it turns out, tenor (from listening to male quartets) is my favorite part. I’ve been willing to put the effort into noticing and learning and found recently that it is getting easier to hear my part with other groups too.
So, back to your question. It is possible – never too late – check out the app. Maybe it will be what you need if you can dig down deep and put in the hard work. Give it a shot, what can it hurt? It would be fun.

 

2 thoughts on “Dreams of learning to play piano?

  1. I actually saw an app advertised somewhere while I was on my phone… maybe scrolling through Instagram. I was intrigued, but I haven’t had a chance to check it out yet. Maybe I’ll do that tonight. I have had an offer from someone in town who wants to sell me their keyboard… I’ve asked for details or pictures and a price, so we’ll see. Thanks for your response!

    Liked by 1 person

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