December 29, 2016

Piano Playing As Family

The holidays are family time. Coming home. Enjoying each other’s campny. Remembering the joint memories. Tomoko contents: “Piano playing is like a family.” Here is why.

A family is a long term commitment. It has its ups and downs, but relationships are deep and impactful. This long-term dedication can apply to can piano playing.

Think about raising a child. It requires regular attention. It needs to learn the basic steps. Its communication is limited, and it can be hard to express itself. It can be frustrated, and needs calming. So too the beginning piano student needs to acquire the habits of regular practice. She needs to learn the basic hand positions and touch, the scales, the musical notation. The first pieces need to be easy in order to experience early success, motivating the student to continue those basic skills. Even so, the student may be frustrated because fingering is not natural yet; the sound produced is not what is in the mind of the student.

Families grow and change week by week. You cannot leave the members alone. They continue to have needs, though those needs may change, and the way to address those members may also need to change. So too do piano students constantly need to be challenged and supported. As they grow in confidence and expertise, piano students need to be handled differently. As the pieces become more complex and sophisticated, new skills are added. The piano teacher knows the likely obstacles, and can advise ways to overcome those obstacles.

With growth, family members gain more responsibility. Likewise, the piano student takes more responsibility in analyzing a composition, marking those sections that need more attention and care, for instance.

“Interaction with each other makes the family closer,” says Tomoko. “So too as the piano player gets to know the piece, he becomes more comfortable with it.”

And lastly, families build memories together, and look back on those memories that continue to knit them together. The piano player’s growing repertoire also elicits memories of the music, the composer, and the experience of performance.

No wonder that pianists, such as Tomoko, build lifelong meaningful musical relationships.