Friday, August 17, 2012

Pretty Perfection: Piano

I don't know if I've ever talked about it on my blog before, but I am an accomplished musician, with my main instrument the piano.  I started taking lessons in Kindergarten with my dad (a music teacher) and moved on to more advanced studies in high school.  I have studied at Westminster Choir College, Penn State, University of Delaware, and was selected for the All Eastern Orchestra my senior year of high school.  All Eastern Orchestra is a collection of students on the Eastern coast who have made regionals and states, and are selected based on their scores.  All Eastern was held in Pittsburgh 2001, and I was fortunate enough to perform on stage in Heinz Hall.

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Since leaving High School, the majority of my piano playing has been for church (was the Choral Accompanist for 10 years) or for musical theater.  Musical theater has paid many of my bills, however monotonous and repetitive it can be. My greatest accomplishments musical theater-wise would be playing piano for Pirates of Penzance for the high school musical while I was in 8th grade, and playing piano for West Side Story for an area high school in 10th grade. Believe me, West Side Story is no joke.

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Since moving to Virginia, I have touched a piano maybe 3 times.  I was looking forward to a break from the requirements of it, and I have yet to go back.  It's been over 3 years and my piano sits gathering dust.  I don't know where I want to go from here.  I know I shouldn't let my talent and my gift go to waste, but in what capacity am I to use it? I have no desire to play in a church anymore, contemporary music (in my opinion) is boring, and I detest keyboards. This reminds me of an old friend Bob who called it 7-Eleven music, the same 7 lines repeated eleven times. HA!

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I know I need to start playing for my self, not for anyone else.  I considered teaching piano lessons, but let's face it- it's not really a priority of kids today. And I don't have the patience to babysit children who are not disciplined. Music here in Virginia is not what it is in the Philadelphia area, I know that.  I just wish there was an outlet somewhere, somehow to use my God-given abilities.

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For now my piano sits and waits for me. It's like riding a bike they say...and it's true.  I can go back anytime.  My books and sheet music are waiting to be aggressively turned mid-sonata. My perfect-pitch is another story...that is a life long curse.  I am forever condemned to cringe when I hear anything, singing particularly, off tune. It does amuse my husband when listening to old school rap that I can open up the piano though and instantly play along..

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Have you walked away from something that was so much a part of your life, either intentionally or unintentionally and regret it? Miss it?


9 comments:

  1. beautiful post and beautiful photos...
    I'm definitely no accomplished musician like you (that's so amazing all you've done and where you've studied, awesome job girl!), but sometimes I definitely regret stopping the piano lessons I took. Same with dance. Though still both a part of my life, I wish I had had the discipline to excel more in those areas :)

    and how much would I love to hear you play along to old school rap?! that's hilariously awesome!

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  2. Yes. I loved painting and drawing - it was my favorite thing growing up. I entered competitions, won awards, and was even commissioned... all before I could legally operate a vehicle. But when my mom passed away when I was 16, I ended up moving a lot and was understandably depressed for a while. I fell out of touch with that desire to create and - 10 years later - I still haven't painted more than maybe 5 pictures. It's not that I don't want to or that I can't. It just doesn't appeal to me in the way it did before. I do miss it, though, a great deal.

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  3. That's one of my biggest regrets is not learning how to play the piano

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  4. So impressive you are! I took lessons from 5-17, but I never took it very seriously. I haven't played in years either. It's sad to waste the talent & knowledge. Kind of like the 6 years of Spanish I took and then let fall to the wayside.

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  5. I love this post! My mother-in-law is an amazing piano player. She's been playing since she was 4. She's played in big bands, regular bands, for churches, and at the Williamsburg Inn for many many years while pregnant with my husband and while he was little. My husband can still remember going with her to some of her jobs and watching her play. They both cringe when they hear things out of tune or played incorrectly.

    I'm in awe of her talent! She never ceases to bring tears to my eyes when I hear her play. She played at our church for several years, but has since moved on to a different church. I think she still plays at home, but I miss hearing her at our church.

    I pray that you're able to find somewhere to bless others with your talent. Music is such a blessing! Teaching piano isn't a bad idea either. You may be blessed in return :-)

    We're actually looking for piano lessons for our 3 year old daughter now. My mother-in-law doesn't want to give up her grandma role so won't teach her. But Jillian has been gifted with an amazing ear! Just let me know if you'd like her to be your first student ;-)

    Myself -- I love to sing :-)

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  6. How awesome that you are that great with a piano! You have some amazing accomplishments under your belt. That piano will be ready for you when you are ;)

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  7. Love the yellow piano!
    Everything happens with time!
    http://balearaitzart.blogspot.co.nz/

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  8. Wow! That is so impressive! I played piano for over 10 years, but stopped as I got older because the lessons were too expensive. I would LOVE to get back into playing though!

    I wouldn't completely rule out lessons if its something you might want to do. I think most parents that would pay for it certainly wouldn't send a child that had a short attention span (I hope!) or maybe just teach lessons to adults? I know that in the future I would love to take a few lessons. Another thought I had for you would maybe be going into a nursing home to play music. There aren't really any restrictions on what you have to play or when you have to do and you would probably be making some older people very happy by doing it!!

    I hope that you find a way to get back into playing again!

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  9. I have played piano for over 20 years. There have been years when I barely played at all. I have a weighted keyboard that travels well (for a piano.) Recently, I joined a band and it has been a joy to play with other musicians. My musical training is finally put to good use. You should check out open mic places that already have a piano. My new favorite is fake books because its so easy. My old favorite is classical. You will find something that's right for you at the right time. :o)

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