“Alarmbells are ringing uncontrollably” driiiiiiin!!!! Drooooooonnnnn!!! Draaaaanggggg!!!
“Ambulance sirens are tearing the skies in a maniacal fashion!!!” Piiiiiuuuuuuu!!! Piuuuuuuuu!!!!!
“People are running away like mad, from their seats in the cafeterias, having left behind their laptops on their social media pages!!!”
“Why should I practise the piano?” You innocently typed on your browser’s search-field.
If you typed those words on your laptop, mobile, tablet or any other vanity device and pressed “search,” chances are that you DO NOT like the piano that much anymore. Terribly sorry to break the news.
Why do I sound harsh and say those things though? Because I’m a horrible person? Perhaps. Because I don’t care to become a fashionable teacher that promises musical lives full of smiles and greatness? Perhaps too. Actually, that’s for sure. But also, I’m saying those words because I want you to learn about music and its peculiarities, and protect you from the educational savages that destroy lives with a sentence, such as “why don’t you want to become a musician?” That’s why I have promised myself, never to lure a student into becoming a musician. It has to come from within themselves. They first have to express this unfailing desire, by their own capacities. And then, if I can, I must help them to achieve their goals. But let’s see a bit more about the question at the top:
Will I ever type the following words and search online? “Why should I like eating ice cream?” Of course not. You know why? Because I don’t need to. I know that I will love ice cream for the rest of eternity, even if I’m about to die from diabetes. That would have been the most over-the-top question I could have ever asked. Do you get my gist?
Same applies to your question; what happens is, that you don’t like practising that much, and frankly you grew to dislike this monster of an instrument, the piano.
The good news is that you came to the right destination; The right destination to make you understand more about music and piano, of course, and not make you like the piano back. That ship has sailed. And frankly, it’s not any of my business and I shouldn’t try to persuade anyone to like the piano. That’s not the point of this article or this website, or a teacher’s educational purpose; that is to make their students like their instrument. Teachers are there to help students LEARN their respective instrument and not make them LIKE their instrument. This is a huge misconception that tantalised pianists, parents and starting educators from, well, the beginning of piano-time.
But let’s discuss a bit more about our question. And, by all means, do not feel guilty. At all! You’re not the only one that hates our precious instrument.
Why People Stop Liking Something
People, as you may have noticed, often stop liking something in their lives and start liking something else. It’s a common thing.
This, in my opinion, is a Darwinian predisposition. —I have no proof of that nor have I researched on that, but it only makes sense based on my time as a musician and the few books that I’ve read— Otherwise, everybody would love the piano forever and there would have been a huge amount of pianistic aura around. That wouldn’t have been good, won’t you agree?
So, to reassure you, it’s only natural that people stop liking things at one point or another in their lifetime. Same applies to the piano. If you recently stopped liking it, you’re just the most horrible person, ever! Sorry. Just kidding. Of course you’re not! You are fine. It’s normal. Imagine if you, your auntie, your friend, your scuba-diving instructor and everyone you knew liked the piano and became proficient at it. What would have happened? For one, I wouldn’t have had a site like this to write my pompous, self-serving writings. Then, I wouldn’t be able to pretend to be an expert and preach my pianistic theories to the gullible piano aficionados, like yourself. Additionally, I wouldn’t be able to make money from this music business that I lead. Moreover, the competition would have been so high that interest in piano would have vanished altogether, since it would have been a normal thing for everybody to do.
Here’s an example: say, that you were a farmer. It wouldn’t have been the wisest business initiative if every farmer in your country was growing vineyards and you decided to do the same. It would have been disastrous for many, many reasons. —Please, contact me if you want a comprehensive article on that subject, it will only cost you 99p—
So, again, it’s very natural for you, to start feeling disconnected from this piano-thing. It’s ok. Get over it. It’s only natural to start disliking things in your life and develop an interest in something else, as soon as it’s not drugs, alcohol, other self-harm habits, and not liking Blackadder.
Why It’s Okay To Stop Liking The Piano
Stopliking the piano is okay because liking it involves some of the following things that people find difficult to accept and follow:
- You need patience to produce concrete musical results.
- You won’t necessarily receive immediate satisfaction from your playing (such as the satisfaction you’ll receive playing a video game or enjoying a latte in your local cafeteria.)
- It’s horribly hard to learn.
- Unless you wear nice clothes and appear cool in social media, not many people would think you’re important, since piano-playing quality doesn’t depend on looks.
And last, but not least:
- In order to like piano altogether, you need to practise it in the first place. If you don’t practise the piano, you won’t see results and thus you won’t be able to feed the “liking” machine; the more you practice, the more you see results, the more you satisfy yourself and the more you like this very heavy instrument, the piano. This is a cognitive and muscular automation according to the university of PianoPractising.com.
Should You Practise The Piano After All?
Should you practice the piano after all? I mean, no you shouldn’t, actually. Again, if this question popped up in your mind, then perhaps you need to reassess things in your life. This question means that you already dislike the piano-practising processes. Here are some questions we need to ask before we delve ourselves into the piano world:
- Why do I wonder if I like practising the piano or not?
- Does practising the piano gives me satisfaction?
- What I would rather be doing right now than practising the piano?
- What I really enjoy doing in general that tops the piano?
- Do I prefer drinking coffee and chatting on a beach rather than sweating on top of the Hammerklavier?
All those questions will inevitably be addressed at one point or another. Let’s hope though, that those questions are not raised when, for example, you have a family to feed, or when you are over forties!!!
Despite what the fashionable teachers say, life has indeed some deadlines, biggest of all, of course, is death, but also some other equally important ones! I mean, we owe to be optimistic and positive until our very last breath and all, but I doubt that I could learn the La Campanella when on my deathbed! Wouldn’t you agree? Or, do you think that perhaps there’s still some time to sort out those trills on the right hand before I kicked the bucket? So, get real quickly.
I hope I closed this article on a very positive note! Well, I still believe that there’s hidden somewhere in this article an aura of optimism, albeit hidden meticulously.
So, go and have a latte and think of all those things above. Maybe, you’ll become a happier person down the line.
©2018 Nikolaos Kokkinis – 25/08/2018
Many thanks to Valerie Elash for using her image. For more wonderful images, visit here: https://unsplash.com/@elashv