Music Appreciation · Piano Lessons · Piano Teaching

Playing Piano is a Happy Thing (With the Right Intention)

Don't Worry, be Happy!
Don’t Worry, be Happy!

In Cambridge dictionary, happy means “pleased”: feeling, showing, or causing  pleasure or satisfaction.  There is also a connotation of “lucky”.

Does “pleased” or “satisfied” mean we feel joy all the time playing the piano and there is absolutely no negative feeling about it? Hardly. But in general we must feel content and – I do think “lucky” is a good word in this situation – privileged to have the opportunity to learn to play the piano and appreciate music through this wonderful and capable instrument of ours.

I see too many people – piano teachers, piano students, even parents – suffer from the puristic idea of piano playing – that playing the piano well means being technically and musically perfect at it. I hate to bring that to you – but I must as a responsible piano teacher and pianist – that there is no such thing as 100% perfection. And there is no need for that either. It is not the essence of piano playing. It is highly necessary and advantageous for us to want to do well and excel in our playing but we must do and want everything from the CORE, and that is our love for piano and music. It is and can only be because we love playing the piano and want to express ourselves and share music with others, that we would be able to excel in our playing. It is only because our heart is set on fully showing the beauty of music and sharing that beauty and joy with others that we can improve our own playing. The future lies not on our hands but in our heart and mind.

When I see someone full of joy, positive energy and strong will to learn and improve in my lessons, I know this person can succeed no matter what. On the other hand, when I see someone lack of hope, filled with negative energy and is afraid of making mistakes, I know this person can do little even s/he does want to improve. His/Her heart and mind are not set with the right intention. How can s/he get anything?

So if you ask me, is it good for anyone to play the piano? I say yes. But only if they want it. If others force them to play it for whatever reason even with good intention, they would never play well and enjoy it. 

And that’s the last thought about piano playing and teaching of the day. 

Bless you all with a great positive energetic week ahead,

Teresa Wong

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