Many years ago, my sister, two years older than me, was taking piano lessons. I would sit next to her and listen to her practice every day. I began begging my mom to let me take piano lessons.
"But you're not old enough," my mom would tell me.
"How old do I need to be?"
"Old enough to read." This was the piano teacher's requirement.
I was only five years old and in kindergarten. I knew my A, B, C's, but did not know how to read. I begged and persuaded my mom further, just knowing that I could play the piano...I wanted to learn to play so desperately.
Why was I so desperate? It was because I had never heard nor paid much attention to music. My earliest recollection of music was cranking up the volume of a small, battery operated radio and holding it smack dab against my right ear. I didn't get to listen to it very long, as it was quickly snatched away. In the middle of my Kindergarten year, I was fitted with hearing aids and music got my attention.
So, when I heard those beautiful notes coming from our black upright piano, I just knew I had to learn to play. Grudgingly, my sister's piano teacher agreed to give me a try.
I learned to play on this black upright piano
I flew through Schaum's beginner's set of piano books and worked my way through the colors. Green, red, then blue. I started practicing 15 minutes per day and gradually worked my way to 1 hour daily. I learned to play the classics from Brahms, Beethoven and Chopin. Recitals were held once per year in which we memorized a piece chosen by our teacher and performed it for all the parents and students. Scales and chords were required and I dreaded learning them, as I did not see a practical purpose for them.
In the middle of my 7th grade year, I wanted to quit lessons and I did. In reality, I probably should have switched teachers. Seven years with one teacher felt like a lifetime. She did, however, let me choose which Hymns and Primary songs to play, which I am grateful.
For a very short period, I had the goal to become a concert pianist. I dreamed of playing difficult pieces, with my fingers flying across the keyboard. I pushed myself, and slowly came to the realization that I had reached my
I now play the piano for my own enjoyment. I can pick and choose any song I want to play. Playing music that fits my mood. Playing music to change my mood, uplift me, or for an escape. I'm grateful that I can hear most of the notes from the piano and for my parents, who recognized a desire to play.
I love playing on my white baby grand!
Can you be deaf and enjoy music? I'm sure you can. I recently read an article about Sean Forbes, a deaf musician who helped form D-PAN (Deaf Professional Arts Network), and holds music concerts. When I was in college and taking ASL (American Sign Language), a Sign/Song competition was regularly held every spring.
Do you enjoy music? If so, what type of music do you listen to? Do you play an instrument? If so, I would love to know!