This I Believe

Frances - Hollywood, Florida
Entered on May 14, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
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At the age of seven my mom decided to sign me up for piano lessons. I remember being excited at first but then I soon came to dread each lesson and refused to practice. Nonetheless, my mother never let me quit and forced me to go to every lesson and to practice everyday. I could not thank her enough for doing that. Learning to play piano has taught me some of my most valued life lessons. First and foremost, to never give up; when you start something finish it, and finish it well. Learning piano taught me humility; I learned that I couldn’t perform a piano piece perfectly the first time around. Just like in my everyday life, I usually don’t get it right the first time; it takes experience to learn and to grow.

I’ve concluded that in order to be a successful pianist there are three important things to remember. I call it the “three P’s” which include Patience, Practice, and Performance. For performing I was taught not to slouch, to sit up straight and to support your hands by using your arms as if to exert confidence. In the real world this has taught me to stand tall and to walk with assurance. Even if I’m not feeling my best, I find standing tall and exerting confidence through my posture changes the way I present myself to other people. Practice has taught me to challenge myself and to get out of my comfort zone. Most importantly, I’ve been able to express myself to people by performing on the piano. On the Christmas of 1997, when I was eight years old, I was scheduled to play Christmas carols on the piano for several elderly homes. As a kid, I did not particularly see the point in this. I didn’t even know anybody I was performing for! I soon realized that, that didn’t matter. Every time I played at the elderly homes, the rooms would light up. I would feel the energy from the crowd grow and was amazed that once quiet, solemn rooms lit up with once asleep elderly, singing and clapping along. I could hear them whisper to each other as I played, “but she’s too young to be playing the piano!”. Being able to play the piano and to share my gift with others has been a complete blessing in disguise. Whether it is teaching my tough marine brother (hoorah) to play heart and soul with me or playing Vanessa Carltons “A Thousand Miles” with my friends, being able to express myself by playing the piano to other people truly creates unique bonds and special memories. Learning to play the piano has taught me more to life than I could ever hope for. This I believe.