Is playing piano fun?
Piano beginners always find it fun trying their hands at the piano right from the start: the excitement from zero to something at least remotely musical is exhilarating. The first few months are quite joyful: you learn to play some simple and familiar tunes, “ah, I can play this melody at the piano!”. “wow, I can play with both hands!”, etc etc. Your friends and families would be impressed by how easily and quickly you can pick up a music instrument, and possibly say something along the line like, “I always know you’re musical”, or “I never knew you’re so musical!”.
Then it comes to the struggling stage. Usually it starts some time between 6 months and a year, especially for kids. Piano playing becomes tedious – it starts to feel it’s boring, it’s like (home)work, it takes effort (as compared to the beginning). “I have to read music”, “I can’t play whatever I want”, and the worst nightmare, “I have to practice!”.
A lot of piano beginner students, especially kids, did not count into the fact that they must spend time to practice between lessons to get better. They think it’s supposed to be “fun”, so they just “practice” whenever they feel like it, after homework, baseball practice, and video games, and some snacks and nap. (However, they do spend time on sports practice multiple times a week, and study obviously, so that they can be good at those things – it should not be that hard to understand that learning a musical instrument would require similar kind of effort, especially if you want to be good at it).
Piano playing has gradually become a “chore”. Piano students start to quit.
“I don’t have time to practice.”
“It’s too hard for me.”
It doesn’t matter what the “reasons” are, but the “reasons” are rationalised.
For those who continue, they progress, and gradually they drop out as they progress more…
I can’t tell you if I love playing the piano when I started around 5. I just did it because my parents told me to, and my brothers were doing it too.
I do believe it’s not some kind of love at first sight (or me being great at it from the start). My love for (and my ability at) piano developed over time.
There were times I didn’t care much about it. There were times I hated it and wanted to give up – but usually it was because I felt like I was failing at it. And there were times when I enjoyed it immensely – when I had great teachers who inspired me in profound ways – when I was doing great in performances – and when I found tremendous meaning in it.
It’s not always fun for me either – there were a lot of struggles – I couldn’t get through something technical or musical no matter how hard and how much I tried. I kept putting in effort and still couldn’t get better.
But I stuck with it, later completely out of my own choice, throughout the years.
The journey is never a straight road. It’s more like a winding road, with uphills and downhills in between some easier flat paths. If it’s too easy, you should start asking yourself why. Maybe you’re choosing comfort and ease over adventure and progress.
Certainly there are times when we feel like we want to give up on something we’ve been pursuing for a while, when we find that we no longer want to spend more effort and time on it anymore. We have changed our mind, we feel differently about it than we first started. That’s okay. We just need to think about why – if only it’s becoming more difficult and we lose confidence in ourselves and our ability to be better at, or simply we lose interest or even develop aversion toward it.
Look deeper and find out the real reason – it’s easier than it looks/feels.
I hope you all have a blessed week.