Have you experienced being enchanted with a melody of sound? Sound that can satiate your inner being and express your innermost thought? There are times in our lives that we wanted to look for a serene and a tranquil place where we can repose for a moment. A perfect place and time for a music to become more beautiful. When life is out of tune and you cannot find harmony with the people around you, music can assemble a pleasure to fill in the emptiness inside you. It is inconceivable how music soothe the hurting spirit and comfort the unhappy soul! What will be a life without the sound of music? Life will be a mistake without it. A very expressive quotation says, “Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music.” It simply imply that music is forever.
Every decade, music has its own standard of arrangements, creativity, instrumentation, beat, and quality. Every individual has different music taste and most of the time the music of their choice reflects their own personality. I have known several young people who preferred rock and rap music, and it is interesting to note that their choice of music reflects their own character, something wild and spirit free individual. Some studies says that individual’s preference of music links to their experiences and feelings. Their liking to a certain kind of music mirror their innermost being and music expresses it for them.
It has been said that the gift of music is therapeutic. It sharpens the mind and body beautifully. My spirit desires music as celestial as the sound of piano! Though my early piano lesson leaves a scar in my heart I dream to enhance my own daughter’s development with the grace of piano. Many researches show that learning musical instrument can boost the mental development of a child.
A tour to childhood
When I was five years old, I never consider the beautiful piano sitting proudly in our living room as an instrument but rather an adversary. My unresolved anger as a child develop a different view of a piano. Looking at it in my early years makes me terribly sick. My childhood piano lesson started when my parent decided it. Just the time they decided to put an expensive piano in the living room and realized it’s useless without someone to play the instrument. And my childhood misery and resentment had begun. Who wouldn’t be? The piano takes away my freedom! I was given a hectic schedule of piano lesson. I was given orders to do this and do that with bribe of pleasure and threat of no liberty. I wonder at that time if my strict parent nor my fastidious piano teacher understands the streaking tears in my cheek when I wanted to be free to play as a child. I do not understand why they have to forced me understand the concept of music when my mind is all for my TV shows. I do not understand why my piano teacher would hit my knuckles with ruler if I forget to press the right key. I have learned my piano lesson with bitter memories.
The Right age to Learn Piano
There is no right age in learning to play piano. It is all about the desire and love to learn. You can learn at any age as long as the willingness and dedication is present. However, learning at early years has greater benefits and chance to be one of the great pianist who can rock the world with its celestial sound. The praised Shin’ichi Suzuki, the violinist who conceived the noted Suzuki method of music teaching had said, “If a child hears fine music from the day of his birth and learns to play it himself, he develops sensitivity, discipline and endurance. He gets a beautiful heart.”
The time I conceived my daughter I have learned that piano lesson must start from the teaching of a mother. It must start from listening and motivation. If the mother is not music enthusiast individual, she can learn the passion of music with her child. That if she desires to produce a music inclined children. It doesn’t mean she has to learn the piano itself, but listening to fine and quality music with child from the day she was conceived, will make a difference.
This is what is missing on my childhood experience. They fail to introduce the beauty of music the way a five year old can understand it. No one explain to me why I have to learn to play except that it was stressed to me that someone should used the piano or else it will be damaged. Who cares? I can remember being point to older children in the neighborhood who can play piano excellently. I should be like her or him. I should be playing better than them, so I should practice more often. That is the motivation I can remember at that time which makes me more resentful.
Now as a mother, the time that my beautiful daughter reaches five year old, I see to it that her piano lesson can’t be hard like mine. To make my own daughter’s experience different from mine, I introduced her to the music world by listening instrumental and classical music. The love of music started from me down to my baby’s developing brain in the womb. As soon as she was born, I continually taken the advantage of her open “window of opportunity” which is mentioned in child development as prime time to develop skills. “Window of opportunity” is believed to starts opening before the baby is born and will close at different stages of child development. I did not fail to let my daughter know the beauty of music in our world. My personal involvement and positive environment teaches her to trust me. Her willingness to learn and love of music makes her piano lesson easier and appealing.
The glimpse of teen-age years
Since my piano lessons build up a bitter memory, I did not appreciate the sound of piano at all. True that I have learned some musical pieces and can play piano, but I fail to recognize the beauty of sounds and the meaning of music in my life. Whenever the opportunity comes that I am asked to play piano, I turned it down as much as I can. But another painful memories comes in my teen-age years when my mother voluntarily listed me in the program to accompany her favorite song leader in one of our church services. I commit to accompany the singing in the morning program after a severe argument with my mom.
The congregational singing was all lively and smooth, but my terror came when the song leader choose a difficult piece for opening song and upon seeing the page, I lost my confidence. I have tried my best to play it but I failed. The song leader stop in her singing and look at me as frustrated as I am. All eyes is on me in a moment and gives me several negative feelings. In my thought I started to imagine what other could think about me. Of course, I think all the negative and hurtful words I could ever imagine though those are just in my imagination. An old man who regularly plays piano replaces my post politely with an understanding smile. Though his behavior is warm and friendly, it did not suffice the humiliation I felt inside. At that moment no words can ever ease my hurting heart because playing piano did not boost my self esteem. I have no confidence in my playing itself so I did suffer inside.
My story did not end in the church but extended in our home when mom started blaming me of my own mishap. She said it happened because I fail to practice regularly and no appreciation of my skills. She also stresses that I do it purposely to defy her which is far from the truth. I remember the bitter argument we have that day. It crushed my being into pieces and leave a poignant heart and bitter memory. I am sure I make her very disappointed and hurt too.
Methods in learning piano
My regrets on those years of experience is I hold on to my resentment and I did not try some other method of learning that may further my learning and developed my self confidence. I should have chosen to learn by myself in my teen age years than rely on a piano teacher. At that time my learning is motivated by tests and music piece. I failed to see the joy in playing piano because I am focused to pass the given test or play the musical piece for the week.
I have learned that there are several methods in learning piano. The conventional way of learning piano is to send your child to a music school to learn or hire a piano teacher to for private tutorial. If you choose this method for your child, make sure that the teacher is well-equipped with knowledge not only on playing piano but also understanding your child’s attitude, learning capacity and skills. Make sure that the teacher can develop a pleasing relationship with your child as well as she can communicate with him/her on their own language.
Moreover, there are individuals as well who learned playing piano by ears. It is called “musical ear” an ability to listen to a melody of song and play it on the piano. It often consists of melody, chords and chord voicing. It is a way to play freely without thinking of right notes, sharps and rest. This skill can easily be enhanced and developed until the learner can learn how to play notes and cite read.
Also, as technology advances, learning piano can be learned online or dvd’s. With parent involvement the child can be guided to this kind of method. This is best to older children who can learn by themselves and has advanced skills in playing piano.
With several methods mentioned,it is still best to choose the best for your child depending on the learning speed and ability. If it is best for your child to be taught by a piano teacher be sure to pick the teacher who has the skills to communicate with your child in a way she can understand it. I tried different methods for my growing daughter. I started with private tutor and then guide her through self learning. But your child may have different way of learning. As a mother,you know what is best for your child.
Looking back at those years, I realized how important it is to find new methods to learn piano on my own comfort. I should have continue learning my own without my mother pushing me too hard. My resentment towards her stops me from learning that leads to my own humiliation. My resentment does not help my growth and learning at all.
A cruise to adulthood
Adulthood is different phase of life. In this phase, I have learned to understand my mother’s failure and ways. There are times that I realized my mother wishes me well but I am to young to understand her ways and she doesn’t know how to express her intention so as a little child can understand. In the end, I find my self thanking my mom for those times. It makes me a better person and an excellent mother on my own assessment.
Now as a mother, I am always inspired with the thought that my daughter will grow up talented and become a potential musician. But it doesn’t mean I am pushing her to become someone she doesn’t want to be in the future. What I can do is help her understand the beauty of music, help her appreciate the role of music in our lives and guide her to fathom the blissful world of music. I do not give pressure on her young age especially in her piano lesson. I see to it that she is learning the skill happily without taking away her freedom. And with help and encouragement she is learning with grace and speed. I work hand in hand with my daughter’s piano teacher and make myself available in times she needed me and my attention.