There's something about the piano that silently calls to you to sit down and place your fingers on that black and white keyboard. It's hard to explain, but it's definitely one of the most loved instruments of all time. Yet, many people, including me, have simply been frustrated when it comes to actually being able to play real songs on it that we enjoy.
If you've always wanted to play the piano, or started beginner piano lessons long ago, but quit before you could even tap out a good tune, then you probably have a bad case of piano player envy. You know, it's that feeling you get when you see one of those lucky people, who spent years practicing, who can now play several pieces of music on the piano without breaking a sweat.
It's really cool when you can sit down and play something besides an elementary version of chopsticks. Yeah, I bet that brought a smile to your face, because chopsticks is the "go to" song for numerous frustrated piano players. Hey, if you can play that simple tune, at least you're ahead of the person who just stares blankly at the keys.
While I did learn how to play chopsticks, I have to admit that I was able to get a bit further along in my lessons than many people. My love for the piano started when I was just five years old. I remember getting a cute miniature piano for Christmas and I was hooked!
There was actually a real piano in the house that I wasn't allowed to touch, but longed to, and after my constant banging away at my mini version, I was told I could start learning how to play piano for beginners. At such a young age, I didn't really understand all that was involved, but I just happily went with the flow.
As with most traditional piano lessons, beginner piano lessons meant learning some basic music theory (treble clef, bass clef), and how to recognize notes. Then, I got to learn those famous scales. Yes, you are told to practice those scales like forever, and every piano lesson started with them. I clearly remember being told numerous times to keep my wrist up for proper finger positioning.
Actually, I was a kid who enjoyed learning the scales. I made a game out of seeing how fast I could do them. Got pretty quick too. But, I know that for too many children and adults, playing the scale endless times doesn't make you want to go much further.
As my music education progressed, I started learning how to play random songs from the piano music books I was given. And no, I didn't get to choose which songs I was to learn. And no, there weren't any cool songs to play – only a few that I thought were okay out of dozens.
And, this is why most of us wanna be piano players end up quitting at some point. The stuff we were taught just didn't keep our interest. I mean, I wanted to learn how to play the cool pop songs of the day, and how to play those long classical pieces by ear. Instead, I got mediocre songs that bored me to tears.
If you are someone who has been intimidated by the thought of how hard it would be to even try playing the piano, I can understand that too. The teachers, bless their heart, are all taught the exact same way, and they pass that along to their students. It's a beautiful instrument, but learning it can seem like a stick in the mud sometimes.