Joseph got his first experience with a piano at church when he was 12 years old. All he needed to do was touch one note, and his universe had immediately expanded! He was certain he wanted to learn how to play.
But, like so many other adults, learning to play the piano as a child was simply not an option. His family couldn’t afford to put music lessons on the back burner. Though this didn’t stop Joseph from dreaming, it did mean that he never had the opportunity to learn to play the piano.
Have you ever strolled past a store window and been so enthralled by the display that you couldn’t stop yourself from buying something? About 6 years ago, Joseph experienced something similar. He was an adult with a career and a family by then, and his childhood goal of playing the piano had faded away.
However, seeing a piano in a window one day piqued his interest. Joseph was the fortunate owner of a beautiful new guitar before he knew it! It wasn’t inexpensive, either. Despite never having taken a piano lesson in his life, Joseph purchased one.
So it wasn’t just a one-time purchase: it was a long-term investment.
However, possessing an instrument is not the same as being able to play it. Joseph began his search for piano lessons online with a positive attitude. He discovered many videos. They were largely teaching him how to recall and duplicate specific notes, not how to understand his instrument. So he figured out how to play some of his favorite songs… When he tried to apply what he’d learned to other tunes, though, nothing worked. Joseph felt trapped rather than empowered.
He intended to sell his piano at one time. After all, it was a nagging reminder of something that felt like a failure daily. Joseph simply walked away from his instrument after a while. “I’ll come back tomorrow,” he told himself at the time.
Three years had passed, and he still hadn’t returned to the piano. Why bother when he couldn’t find a system that he could understand?
Joseph was fortunate in that he did not get rid of his piano. After three years, something piqued his curiosity once more.
Joseph set out to find a better way to learn the piano.
“Should I take piano lessons?” He was skeptical, and he wondered if there was some sort of catch. Maybe it wouldn’t be enough to let him feel independent on the piano once the lessons were ended. But something happened when he finally decided to give it a try: he realized he had nothing to lose.
Joseph chose to enroll in the classes. For the first time, Joseph felt empowered by what he was learning as he began attending lessons daily. He had been imitating lessons previously, but now he was beginning to understand how the music functioned. Notes, chords, progressions, improvisation… all of these elements were now at his disposal. He’d be able to start putting songs together at last!
A piano is really simple to learn if you have the will and the passion!
Joseph’s relationship with his instrument has changed dramatically since the days when he was considering selling it or hacking it up! He can now play the songs he enjoys. His wife now overhears him playing and tells him how far he’s come. His daughter is now learning the piano with him because she sees how much fun it can be.
Not only that, but Joseph is still learning new things and honing his talents. He finished his classes a long time ago, yet he continued to play.
It is obvious when someone pours their heart and soul into their work. There is no such thing as a magic medication. Joseph has put in the effort, not just by attending lessons but also by persevering in the face of adversity, trying again after a setback, and continuing to push himself.
These are the moments I live for: seeing Joseph sit at his piano and show his delight in it, and seeing his daughter there with him, a big smile on her face. And I believe that “amazing” is the best word to describe his experience.