My eight-year-old brother started learning piano about a year or so ago. As his senior, I often correct him while he’s playing, more often than not without even looking. One such instance took me back in time when I was the one playing in his place and my teacher was the one pointing out all the wrong notes without looking. To think that it has only been a couple of years since those days is just insane.
If I had my way, I would have started learning to play the piano when I was six, and I would often imagine myself sitting at the piano and moving my fingers effortlessly over the keys. But we had just relocated to Gurgaon as a family, and my parents initially had other priorities with settling in a new place. To add, they didn’t know where to find a teacher. After a year of research, we finally found a keyboard teacher near our neighbourhood. That was good enough for my parents to enroll me– but not for me.
They were running on the principle that playing the keyboard was as good as playing the piano, but I knew it was different. I had seen pianists on TV and I wanted to be just like them. To me, there was power in the sound of the piano with its smooth acoustics and controlled sound. The keyboard just wasn’t made for that type of blending and expression and gave the sound typically found in pop music. I knew that the keyboard was a fundamentally different instrument, but I felt like I had no other choice.
My dissatisfaction lasted a good four years while I kept hopping from teacher to teacher when none of them were able to teach me how to produce the kind of sound I wanted.
I was fed up.
We accidentally came across Lorraine Music Academy, barely three kilometres away from our house and none of us had a clue why we couldn’t spot it earlier. And, since then there has been no looking back and the journey with piano and my teacher has only been musical.
From then on, I was her student. It felt like everything I had dreamed of. I had already learned a decent amount from my keyboard days, and it was all coming very easily to me at first.
Then when the new stuff and hard work came along, so did the long nights. I used to sit with Ma’am for hours on end trying to perfect my pieces. She didn’t let it be boring though and treated us to chips, cake, ice cream, and even chicken nuggets during class. One day I even had dinner at her place when I was practising for 5 five hours straight up till 10 pm at her place.
She could spot mistakes note for note without looking at the piano or the sheet music.
There were also the moments when I didn’t feel like working and would sit in a corner of class with a couple of my friends and have fun talking until Ma’am came along and we would pretend to be working hard.
There were also the days when I performed badly and got frustrated, but Ma’am was always there to offer support and tell me that I was going to learn from these experiences and become an excellent pianist — that was the end goal after all.
This motivation carried me through all 8 Grades of piano in just six years. I have seen others walk in and walk out of the same piano studio I was practicing in, yet many people lost motivation halfway through. My willpower and passion were strong since the beginning, and being where I am today, doing concerts and playing what I like without debating my capability, was my dream.
Now that I have achieved that milestone, I want to learn to play the violin next. After all, music is an endless journey with endless paths!