“Aren’t I too old for this?” I thought to myself as I stretched my hands across the familiar keys that seemed so unfamiliar. I remember my piano teacher saying that to me close to 20 years ago and I still hadn’t gotten any younger.
I could feel my left hand tremble as I tried pressing the keys. My right hand was my dominant hand and it was strong, but my left hand felt weak. I would try to do a ‘move’ and my hand would not cooperate. There were days when after playing my hand would feel tired. It hurt. Not badly, but it hurt.
In the beginning, it was hard to read the notes that were in my Adult Piano Adventures book by Nancy and Randall Faber. Hey, did you hear–they’re a husband and wife duo who wrote a whole bunch of music books. The beginner book costs less than $30 to buy and let me tell you, it’s been far more effective than any expensive teacher I’ve ever had.
The first song that properly initiated me into my chosen instrument was Dvorak‘s New World Symphony. It was the first time I felt something when I pressed those keys. Some connection. Some recollection. Some sense that I was not too old to press those keys and play music. Even if it was only for my own ears.
So I just kept playing for my own darned ears. I knew when I sounded bad. After playing for a few weeks, I noticed something. I could play a tune. A melody. A song. Well, not the whole song, but a few bars from the song. I was no Mozart, but I was definitely a musician.
I can play songs! I can play songs! I wanted to yell it at the top of my voice. I wanted to let everyone know that I can play songs. Well, a few bars of them at least. So I sat down and recorded a few. I sent them to a friend or two. They liked it. So I kept playing. It wasn’t really for anybody. It was just for me.
You have no idea how amazing it is when you hit the right notes. It’s music. And when you don’t hit the right keys, it’s noise. It’s pure noise. It’s like my ears are rejecting what my hands are doing. But no matter what my ears think, it’s like my hands won’t stop doing what they’re doing.
It’s like my hands don’t care whether it’s noise or it’s music. My hands just want to touch those piano keys… And keep tapping away.
It’s not a fancy piano I have. It’s not the cheapest, but it was one of those that’s excellent for the price–if you know what I mean. Hey, I still haven’t given my piano a name. What should I name it? I’ve heard that musicians do that. They fall in love with their chosen instrument. I’ve seen lead singers of heavy metal bands kiss their guitar and stuff. I wonder if it’s a monogamous relationship or if they’re permitted to play other instruments as well.
As for me, I’ve never even thought of playing any instrument other than the piano. Do you think my piano will be mad at me if I play the field and check out what’s out there? Ah well, I’m happy with monogamy, I think.
I only started playing in April and it’s the first time in my life that I haven’t been able to stop.
Definitely not too old for this. But then again, are we ever? I should go find that piano teacher of mine. I’m sure he’s an old fogey by now…