• Rachel Anne Baer

Piano Playing

#childhoodmemories #pianoplaying #disappointment #unrealisticexpectations

At some point in my childhood my mum decided it would be a good thing for me to learn to play the piano. I imagine I was excited at the prospect of something new, I probably had visions of being able to sit down and play the most beautiful music right off the bat. Sadly that was not the case. In our small village it was easy to get to know your neighbors, life was lived at a much slower pace, mothers stayed home with their children, we walked everywhere as my parents had one family car and my mother didn't drive. Just a short walk from us lived an elderly man who used to teach piano. He was eager to have a new student. I was accompanied to his house once or twice a week to learn my new skill.

After just a few lessons I had already decided this was not my thing, sitting still was not easy for a six year old child who much preferred to be swinging from tree branches in the garden or on the tire swing, rather than being made to practice the same few notes continually. I soon became aware that I was a disappointment to him, apparently I had long fingers which should have made me a talented player, or so he told me many times. Practices at home on the piano that had been tuned especially for my "performances" had turned into long arduous sessions with plenty of frustrated tears and wails. It was not to be, after a few months I must have whined enough to finally convince my mother that her daughter would never make a concert pianist.

Freedom was mine again, although I remember every time we walked past his house and waved to my "teacher" in his garden I would feel a pang of guilt at having somehow failed him and let him down. How powerful his words were to a young girl. He would say to my mother as she stopped to chat "she could have been a remarkable player, such a shame, just not the right material" Fortunately I soon got over this, once more enjoying the outdoors and the company of friends. I do wonder though if this was just one of many comments over the years that influenced my feelings of not being enough, a disappointment, just two of the many ways young girls are still put down today, sometimes intended sometimes not, either way it can make a lasting impression.

Did you have piano lessons? How did they turn out? Did you enjoy it? Do you still play?

It's a beautiful gift/talent to have, I have found other ways to realize my creativity. What are yours?

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