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Working On My Dream

I started taking piano lessons about six months ago. I love to sing and thought if I learned to play the piano I could have mini concerts (just for myself) in front of the fireplace on cold winter nights. The vision in my head was so beautiful and calming. I longed to make my dreams into reality. So, off I went to piano lessons. I never miss my lessons and I practice all the time. And well, I suck at it. It is hard. When I started, my teacher gave me easy pieces (with numbers) that made me believe I was a star student. Turns out he was doing that just to give me a bit of early success and to build my confidence. Now I am learning harder pieces and they require a lot of practice time and committed effort.

I played a piece for him at my last lesson that I had practiced repeatedly at home. I thought I knew it fairly well; however, when I played it for him I had an experience that some people get when they go to the doctor. It’s called “white coat syndrome.” When the patient sees the doctor, their blood pressure rises. When I play for Wesley I get flustered and lose my place and it’s all down here from there. I play wrong note after wrong note. At a recent lesson, he noticed I was getting flustered and told me not to be so hard on myself. Learning to play the piano as an adult is not easy. Wesley said before I began lessons I had a vision in my head of what I would experience when I played. I believed I would experience a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment. I would play beautifully. What I was playing wasn’t right and it wasn’t beautiful. What I was actually experiencing was not lining up with what I expected. Wesley once told me that kids learn to play the piano much easier than adults because they don’t start lessons with thoughts of what the end will be. When they mess up they immediately forget it and move on. Adults beat themselves up and by doing so they make it even harder to learn to play.

I try to remember Wesley’s words and also remember the following quote: “Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty.” I am going to keep learning. This is all part of the process as I make my dream into reality. I would hash this out a bit more, but I’ve got to go; it’s time for practice. I have a mini-concert coming soon.

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