The key problem with learning piano is the complexity of the instrument and all the factors that you have to consider. A beginner’s mind can’t take much more. I have found it necessary for me to study about six to seven lessons worth of instruction in order to become an excellent pianist, and that is what will help you too. But the key is to not take so much on yourself. Keep an open mind. Be open to ideas and to new ways of playing.
How is there a relationship between the piano and your emotions? Do you feel more calm, happier when you’re playing or do you tend to get very angry while playing?
I think having a good emotional attitude is essential. I’ve learned my emotional attitude has helped my playing tremendously and it also helped me get a better understanding of myself. The difference is if you are calm it is easier for you to be more creative and to make connections with your playing. If you have an unhappy outlook your playing can seem more difficult and your creativity may not be as good, although it may take years to become a good pianist.
You’ve said that the piano is more like a mental tool than a musical instrument. How does that feel, do you feel more free to be yourself, or is that a conscious decision you make when you start?
To use a real metaphor, when I started playing the piano as a kid I always looked at it like a calculator: it has all the functions, the controls, everything that’s available on the screen. I just plugged in what I wanted to do and it all came to me. I couldn’t think of anything I was not programmed to do. I felt that way since day one. Playing the piano gave me a different perspective on life which brought me in contact with other people, which taught me how to deal with other people, and which encouraged me to learn about other cultures and how things are done in those cultures. So, that was a good thing. I know it sounds too technical and esoteric to be interesting, but there’s a lot of truth in that. I started playing the piano because it gave me a different perspective on life. That’s been my goal since I was old enough to understand, to give other people the perspective I got as a kid.
Are you in contact with anybody who uses the piano or uses anything like it professionally, or do you just use it as a hobby?
I play many hours a day. I usually do that with family,
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