Today I taught a person how to play the piano.
During a scheduled maintenance and tuning, I was able to learn from my client that she had always wanted to learn how to play the piano. She was born in China and told me a story of how the Revolutionaries had entered her parent’s home and had destroyed the piano as part of the “cultural revolution” of Mao Zedong. The cultural revolution peaked in 1966. Many people were sent to labor camps. My client’s parents were among them. My client moved to America in the 90s and upon becoming a parent, invested in a new piano. Her child is now taking lessons, but the mother… until today, has never played the piano.
I taught her how to play upon the black notes. After a brief explanation, she sat down at the piano and started to play.
She said to me, “This is the first time I have ever sat on this bench.”
Until today she believed she could not play. And because she believed that, she never tried. Today she can sit at her piano, play notes as she would like, and create a pleasing melody. I asked her, “Are you happy?” She said yes.
I said, “It does not matter that you are not playing ALL the music ever written. It only matters that you can make a sound on the piano, and enjoy making those sounds. Never again must you say that you ‘cannot play’ the piano.”
She smiled and agreed. Now she knows she can play.
And never again will I say that I cannot play the Schubert Impromptus. I can play them. I just have not played them yet!
Playing piano is enjoyable from the very moment we begin to try.