I learned piano haphazardly as a teenager. When I attended Berklee College of music the piano teachers never talked about “playing” the piano, only what to play. Later in my professional work as a commercial musician the playing demands were not too strenuous.
In my early forty's I spent a summer in Santa Pola Spain with a small keyboard and a book of Bach WTC book 1 and Chopin Waltzes. Every afternoon after lunch while the world took a siesta, I would explore the music on this tiny sixty note plastic keyboard. It was a magical experience. Upon returning home, I started asking around for a piano teacher. Leon Karan’s name came up a few times, so I called him. He answered with his warm Russian accent. Yes, I will see you. An appointment was made.
“Mr. Story, please play for me a c major scale.”
Gritting my teeth and tensing my body as hard as I could, I dug in and roared up the piano. He looked at me sympathetically.
“Please play your piece for me.”
I’ve no recollection of which piece I played but I do remember his concerned reaction. I was humbled.
“You are of course going to do your ARCT?”
“ARCT, you are a piano teacher. You have a duty to your students.”
Four years and five thousand hours of practice later, I graduated age 47. It was the most difficult and rewarding thing I’ve ever done as a musician. It was truly a marathon, but to mangle my metaphors, I felt like superman.
If you'd like to feel like superman/woman, call me.
Revised October 2022
You've got to learn your instrument. Then, you practice, practice, practice. And then, when you finally get up there on the bandstand, forget all that and just wail.
I'm a professional pianist and music educator in West Toronto Ontario. I'm also a devoted percussionist and drum teacher.