I get to know a lot of people I otherwise don’t through music – from piano teaching, book publishing and article writing, video and audio sharing, to performing.
I used to think music was the most important element in this connection. I mostly cared about how I myself and my students played instead of understanding how the audience and my students felt. But eventually I learn that, people is the most important aspect in this connection.
Don’t get me wrong, music is still uber important. We need to make great music, learn to hone our craft, to play and teach well etc etc. But the element of human connection and communication matters a lot too, perhaps even equally. Otherwise, who is listening to our piano playing? Who are we teaching piano to?
Music making is an amazing experience. Music teaching in my regard is one kind of music making experience. Although I don’t get to play much during my piano lessons with my students, I do get to guide them to understand the music and play better. There is a lot of interaction going on, and it’s just a different kind of music making together.
I have to admit, there are times I didn’t feel like going on. It’s too hard, it’s too easy, it’s too much, it’s too little. But every time when I feel like I should discontinue this journey, there is always something come up that makes me pause and keep on going. It always puts a smile on my face, and gives me a sense of satisfaction that there are still those who care, who want to play and teach piano better, who want to continue this music tradition, perhaps even when I am gone.
Whatever that is you are doing now, be it playing or teaching piano, or any goals that you have in mind, if you really feel that calling to continue, that you have that passion for whatever it is, please keep on walking on your path. You might just learn and experience something super marvelous along the way.