I love piano. Love to listen to it, love to play it. I began taking lessons as a seven-year-old who was jealous of her older brothers’ ability to play chopsticks. Ha. I had three different teachers between that time and the summer after sixth grade; I made it to the fourth level of the Bastien series, but I was never great, never tried my hand at any classical music unless it had been treated with a pretty heavy editing hand, and I was scared of the keys with 5 and 6 sharps or flats that started to creep into the level 4 book. But as a side effect, I did conquer my tone-deafness (my second teacher gave me kids’ songs to play, which had lyrics, and she made me sing along as I played).
I finally took a piano class during my last year as an undergrad, more than 10 years after I’d quit taking lessons. It felt refreshing to spend spare minutes between classes tucked away in a practice room, playing mazurkas or rag or (fake) jazz songs on a Kawai upright or (ahh!) a Steinway grand. I even tried to learn Christofori’s Dream — a long-time favorite — and learned the right hand tolerably well. But of course I also learned that David Lanz has crazy large hands, and a 10th for him is like an octave for me. I had to cut out some notes, since I couldn’t figure a way to grow a third hand.
But there are some kids who by the age I stopped taking private lessons are playing better than I probably ever will. (I say ‘probably’ because who wants to deny herself a little hope?) I’ve seen a couple on YouTube, hiding somewhere among all the videos of “prodigies” who are kids too young to even pay attention to the keyboard (whose fathers are the ones actually playing), or else are cats.
The user ‘ailecec‘ (Cecelia 🙂 ) is one of the best I’ve seen. This isn’t her most difficult work by far, but seeing as how I’ve made a point that I love RPGs, I thought I’d post this one; anyway, it’s pretty, and she’s sight reading — which is pretty impressive still. Sadly, I haven’t played the particular game in question, but Final Fantasy is a great series.
If you like this, Celia’s Mozart Files video is especially impressive. It documents her progress in Mozart pieces during the first few years she took lessons, starting at age 7. It’s about 5 and a half minutes.