My Musical Experience
Many children play an instrument for school. Or, even better, they may play it for their enjoyment. I play an instrument too; it's the piano.
I started practicing on the piano at the age of five. My parents recall that on the first day of my piano lesson, which would eventually lead up to eight more years of diligent practice, I was crying because I didn't want to learn and because I was nervous.
But now, as I look back, I cannot imagine why I would react that way to the piano.
When I first started, I hated the piano. The amount of required practice seemed too much. I also couldn't grasp the concepts and I felt that it was boring and difficult. Day after day, as I was the only child then, my mom would patiently sit beside me and point out the notes and would try to help me out. I remember many times when my frustration burst out but years passed and I soon was no longer the only child. The result was that my mom became much busier.
So, she ceased to take time to sit with me--leaving me to myself to do my dreary practice. I remember the times when I would tell her that I had finished playing a piece when I had actually not. Instead, I had only played the first half of the page. I knew that she couldn't tell for she was not a musician, and she knew almost nothing about music. But one day, I got caught. The consequence, I do not remember why --maybe because it wasn't effective enough to teach me a lesson in honesty.
But let me fast forward.
It was the third year of the yearly piano exams and it was a special one--one that if you passed, you would earn a medal. But this was no easy task.
I was only about seven or eight and memorizing ten advanced pieces with a minimum of three pages for each, seemed equivalent to moving a mountain!
I became extremely stressed in that last month before the terrorizing exam and would cry frequently whenever I practiced because of my nervousness.
But alas, the day came and we drove to the home of the judge. I will not explain in detail what had happened but I will tell you one thing:
I failed the exam.
The judge was very strict. And in my anxiousness and nervousness, I lost my memory of the pieces and I played many wrong notes.
After that, my parents came in and said, "No more. No more piano exams for two whole years."
Those two years became three.
And those three years became years of relaxing practice in which those three years softened my heart to eventually love the piano.
Now the piano is one of my joys. Whenever school becomes tiring, I rush downstairs to the piano, open the windows for fresh air so I can hear the birds singing along as I play.
I love to learn more each week from my wonderful teacher, Uncle Michael E. I love to say that I have finally memorized my fifty pages of music. I love to play by ear and add all those pretty ornaments to the piece. I love to bring feeling into my playing...whether mournful or joyful. I love to praise Him with it. I love to play with crispness. I love to brush the smooth ivory keys of the piano with my fingertips, making it sound more beautiful each time.
I love piano.
Whenever I listen to music, I always try to keep my ears open for some inspirations, variations, or techniques I can add into my playing.
Because I have been officially a former ballet dancer, it has helped me in piano in many ways. It has helped me feel the beat and imagine that I am dancing along to it...just like I had once been dancing, one year ago. I would have never known as many classical music pieces if I had never experienced ballet. I also would not have appreciated music and the beauty of it to the degree I appreciate it today.
I listen to music and the classical radio stations regularly. It is fun to be able to identify each piece of music.
I am very grateful for the opportunity that God has given me to be able to learn the piano. Also, I am extremely grateful that I have a wonderful teacher who has taught me all these eight years. Without him, and the grace of God, I would have never accomplished so much. Thank you, Uncle Michael!