“Please play the e flat scale.” I was shocked that I was called upon due to my interest in practicing a song, rather than paying attention to what my piano instructor was talking about. Yet, luckily for me I already knew the scales they were teaching so I replicated what the instructor asked. To their surprise I played it perfectly and continued with the lecture, and I continued practicing my song with earbuds in.
This was the second time I was in a class that taught specifically piano but, yet I was not that interested in what the teacher was teaching. Although I have taken many general music classes when I was a child in school, they merely went over the keys of a keyboard and some very easy to learn songs, then continued to teach how to play a different instrument. Due to this I believed I barely scratched the surface of learning how to play piano, but apparently what I had previously learned was a cut rather than a scratch. I have always felt this way when learning piano, that even though I am learning something for the first time, it felt familiar and easy to adapt. Due to this emotion I felt as if I was not learning at all and this was merely a repeat of what I had learned when I was a child but forgot exactly what it was.
At the age of nine I was gifted a small keyboard from my aunt when she heard me talking about my experience with playing the piano in my music class and how enjoyable it was to be able to create wonderful sounding melodies from my fingertips. Although my class at the time was over I was still interested in learning more songs to play as a child, although since I did not understand how to read sheet music, learning new songs was quite difficult and never sounded how I heard it. This difference in keys is quite off putting when you try to learn a new song, but no matter what you do it always sounds slightly off. I had tried for a few weeks after the school year had ended to learn new songs, but to no avail. I didn’t have the patience to continue my pursuit, so I had dropped it altogether and did not so much touch the piano for five years.
As this fifth year came around I was in eighth grade and had just moved to a new city and a new school. This new school had auto-assigned me to a music class conveniently enough. I was excited to realize that I was in another music class because maybe this time I will be able to learn new songs like I had tried when I was younger. Throughout my class experience I was always ready to learn and payed attention no matter how trivial that teachings were and were they trivial. We had gone over what each key was named and hand position over, and over, and over again, yet I still had hope that I would still learn something new. By the end of it all, nothing was gained besides a few touch ups on skills and old songs that I had previously forgotten but replayed in this class.
Although I had given up hope on learning something new my teacher at the time always recognized how much effort I put in to learn new songs and had given me a small bunch of papers with all the songs she has taught in her class. This jump started my interest immediately and I had gone home to practice these new-found songs only to realize an issue, my keyboard was not big enough to play many of the songs she had given me. The songs needed an eight-octave keyboard yet mine was only five. This problem had persisted quite strongly through these new songs that I even asked the teacher what kind of keyboard I would need to play these songs and where I would be able to find one. They were nice enough to even give me a big enough keyboard to play these songs and due to this new large keyboard, I could learn even more new ones without the problem of not having enough octaves to play them!
Now, through the years of me looking up new songs to play and deciding if I have enough patience to learn how to play them, I have taught myself how to read sheet music, although I can not read and play at the same time, I am now able to learn many new songs as much of the songs to learn are in sheet music form. But, even with all these new songs I still never felt like I have learned that much from my piano classes. Not until one day when I was spending a day with my father.
I had gone to visit him during Father’s Day with my brother. We spent the evening together and I had realized that there was a piano in the main room. I was too embarrassed to play in front of others, so I had waited for my father and brother to be outside before I begun to play. I was going through of a list of songs in my head on what to play next, but then after a few songs I had realized that my father was standing behind me in awe. “I never realized that one of my sons was musically talented.” It was finally at this moment that I had realized that maybe I have been learning new things. I was very happy and ecstatic that my hard work was recognized by my own family and that these songs that I have been working so hard to try and memorize how to play is finally appreciated by others. Maybe I have finally learned how to play piano after all.