Thursday, March 10, 2011


I have played the piano for as long as I can remember. I was seven or so when my dad's buddy gave me a piano and my parents got me some lessons right away. I loved it. I've always loved it. But I love it for myself. When it comes time to play for others, I just lock up and forget everything and I hate it.
My relationship with the piano has always been tempestuous. It's the thing I love and the thing I fear, all at once. I'm drawn into it and I'm always terrified by it. I suppose that's because it has the potential to conquer me, or at least be the one thing I never really conquer.
That push and pull has resulted in years away from the piano at a time. I always come back to it, but usually for a few months and then I push it away again. I am determined that this time, I will stay.
But that has brought some interesting changes.
My younger self was far more timid than my today self. "Christy - play out!" was something I heard from every instructor on every instrument. I just wasn't confident enough that I was going to do it right - do it mistake-free - to really play out loud. It never mattered where I played or what kind of music I played. I just was never playing loud enough.
Something is different.
Maybe the changes that life has brought to me have brought my emotions closer to the surface. I know I'm bolder and more confident in many areas of my life. Somehow, without any effort on my part, my touch at the piano has changed. I am asked, more often than not, to reign it in.
"Scale it back a little, Christy."
"Play this a little more gently."
When I played at the end of last semester for the music faculty, the first thing someone said to my professor was, "She's a fiery one, isn't she?"
And I think that's interesting.
Because I am a fiery one.
I've just always kept it to myself.


Mary said...

this is so, so neat. Thanks for sharing.

Amy Button said...

It's so different doing anything at 18 and in your 30's. I've often thought that it's a shame that you have to "pick" the thing you want to do for your whole life when you're 18 and don't even know who you are.

You + piano...very cool :)

frabjouspoet said...

I've always known there's a fire in you. It's one of my favorite things about you. :)

jlsgrant said...

Love it! One of the truly beautiful things about getting/being older! (Even if you are way younger than me!) :)