How I Used to Lie About My Experience With Piano

March 11, 2020

You don’t have to fit a mold.

Most people don’t, you know. And yet, we generally assume that others will conform to our expectations.

I used to lie about how much experience I had with the piano.

When I was in 9th grade, my English class was studying Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. I gave a presentation to the class on Elizabethan-era music. I prepared for this presentation by going to the music teacher and asking if he had any music from that time period, and he gave me a copy of a song called “Heart’s Ease”, arranged for two recorders and keyboard.

I went home, figured out how to play it on the piano, and recorded it on a cassette tape. During my presentation, I played the tape for the class.

“How long have you been playing the piano for?”, my teacher asked me.

I thought for a moment, unsure of how to answer the question. Eventually, I replied: “four years.”

A girl in the class gasped. “Four years? I have been playing for six years and I wouldn’t be able to play that!”

The truth was that I had only been studying the piano for maybe 4 or 5 months at that time.

Or, I could tell a different truth, which is that I had taken a few lessons at the age of nine, and then quit.

Both of these are true, but it doesn’t matter. They’re just stories. However, stories are important because they influence our behavior.

Are the stories you tell serving you, or not?

If you want to know more about how to eliminate stories that are not serving you as a musician, check out my ebook.

About the author

Michael Korman has played the piano in opera productions and recitals, as well as directing music at a church and coaching classical singers. He draws upon his experiences with meditation and mindfulness to inform his views on music. In addition to music, Michael also holds degrees in computer science. When he's not playing the piano or meditating, he might be practicing drawing or calligraphy.

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