Thursday, June 17, 2010

Don't ask me to play the piano!

This week I chose the following writing prompt from Mama Kat's workshop, "How long until you realized you had no talent or patience for this? Tell the story (true or fiction) of trying to learn a new talent or hobby that you only pursued briefly."

I've tried and tried but I really cannot learn how to play the piano. For my music business degree in college, I had to pass three semesters of piano, that is just three classes. Easy, right? Nope, not at all. They were absolutely miserable for me.

I went into my first class my junior year somewhat excited. I thought, hey, I've been singing since I was little and I love music. I've always thought it would be great to sing and accompany myself on an instrument. So, why not piano? Looking back on it now, I really wish I would have chosen guitar or even drums? : ) But at the time, I thought, how hard could learning to play the piano be? Well, not only was the actual playing itself difficult but I also struggled with learning to read the music fast enough while also playing those notes that I was reading. Perhaps, I was just never meant for that kind of multi-tasking...

On top of all that we also had to occasionally play in front of the other students in the class and the teacher too. In fact, every single Friday we were expected to play a weekly song that we had been working on all week in front of the teacher. That was the only way we were graded. I was petrified every single Friday walking into that class. I just can't handle that kind of pressure, especially when I'm doing something that I'm not confident at all about. I suppose most people feel this way but I get seriously ill thinking about it, let alone actually doing it. No matter how much I practiced playing that song, (sometimes even memorizing the notes) I still made dumb mistakes when I played it for the teacher. Usually in near tears, I would explain to the teacher my dilemma and they would look at me sadly and say, "Just keep practicing, Leah, you'll get it eventually." Whatever! I practiced my butt off and I still couldn't play.

Somehow I managed to pass the three piano classes. I think the teachers liked me and knew that I really tried and just didn't have the natural skills necessary to play a musical instrument. Well, does my voice count? Maybe if I started younger, they say that it's best to learn a new language and a new instrument when you are young because you'll pick it up faster.. So, I'll just blame my age on it then! Haha! I will tell you this, I still get a little scared every time I'm near a piano. I always worry that someone will ask me to play something for them. My version of hell certainly involves me on a stage in front of millions of people with a piano.... Yikes!


  1. ongrats for making it through the three classes, you get kudos for sticking to it to get your credits!! Be proud! The piano is a hard instrument to learn (speaking from 13 years worth of lessons!)

  2. The important thing is that you did it! Good job:-) And thank you for sharing your story. Glad to have found your blog!

  3. Wow! But that says alot about stuck it through 3 classes! Now you never have to do it again! Whew. Sing on, sistah!

  4. I hear ya! I had years of piano, but I had no ear for it, and recital day was just a misery. Good for your for sticking to it though.

  5. I don't think I have ever heard you play the piano. It's one talent I wish I had, too.

    Nice post!