When some people think about taking lessons at the piano, they think “boring”, “classical”, “time and money wasting”, “useless”, “it’s not a school subject anyway, totally unrelated to any academic work”, “what does that have to with the real world anyway, it doesn’t help me with making more money (and friends) and getting promoted”, “I just don’t know what it is anymore for after finishing all the grades already”.
What a downer you said. Hey, I am just being realistic here, in fact, I remain completely neutral when I hear any of these comments and alike. I understand perfectly why they think like that. Because they have never experienced JOY in that part of their musical lives (and also that they never have a teacher like me hahaha…)
For me, of course, playing the piano has brought me so much into my life, which would be otherwise so dull and boring. Playing on my own is one thing, performing and sharing music with others is yet another. Writing about it and listening to it are both enjoyable and satisfying in so many beautiful ways. And now teaching it and teaching how to teach it adds an even newer and fuller dimension to this – how should I call it – “adventure“? :)
But I can tell you, the best thing is the connection it has brought to me with other people, locally and abroad. It has brought me to get to know so many beautiful people who love music and piano. For that I feel truly blessed.
Sometimes my students say to me, “why do you share so much online for free?” (sorry students I know you feel unfair, and I shall cut that down a bit). Well, my initial thoughts were to spread the knowledge I had to those who might not have access to it otherwise, so why wasted all the beautiful knowledge that I have gained myself all these years? I believe in paying it forward, and in giving I shall receive (not that I have ever so focused on the latter part). And I have been receiving in so many ways.
So what about my title “creativity“? Ok I was getting side tracked as always. To go back to the starting point, playing the piano might seem boring to some at first. All the learning to read notes, counting rhythm, playing scales and technical exercises (!), learning simple songs (“Really? Twinkle Twinkle Little Star? Old MacDonald Had a Farm??”) and keeping your fingers curled do not seem fun and joyful at all. In fact, they seem to be torture to some. But once we get past the basics, it is really fun – actually I am wrong, the kids and adult beginners at our school are having fun right at the beginning even playing the easiest songs ever. It is not about it being easy and almost awfully silly at the age of 45 (or 4.5 for that matter in the eyes of a 45 – or perhaps it may well be, why can’t we be all silly at times? But that’s another topic for another day/another post isn’t it), it is rather that making music is fun, and making music with your own hands at the piano is tremendously joyful. And you might say, “hey I am just playing it according to ‘the book’ ” (the book that I wrote obviously). Yes, but YOU are playing the music, so you get to play in the way you want it to sound like (within the reasonable boundaries accordingly). So in a way you are creating the music, because there would be no sound if you don’t play it out loud ( mind you that the music sheet cannot make sound on its own). And even in our first semester of the piano beginner course, we already let students make their own choice and add their own ideas into the music and their playing. And in the second semester, students have to participate in writing parts of a couple songs. We also encourage students to start writing their own melodies at the very beginning. Needless to say, in this modern world, one can find lots of creativity in new technology and ideas as well as products. Making music especially at an early age brings out one’s creativity in so many fun and innovative ways. And for the young at heart, playing the piano can bring you so much joy and new perspectives and ideas as well. It is really for everyone!
Gaining knowledge in music is a life time of enjoyment. For those who understand this they would be reading this with a smile. For those who don’t just yet do not despair. Come learn with us ! (Or go learn somewhere is equally fine) The fundamental point is: get it a good try, really get into it, dig deeper in it, otherwise you won’t get as much joy as you would. And believe me, you totally deserve it. It would be such a beautiful thing you can do for yourself.
Now go get creative in your playing and your daily life!