The Piano Man

My sister wants to make room for her boyfriend to put a computer in her bedroom so they can game together (I’m so proud), so she wanted to get rid of the piano, and we offered to take it. It’s the piano I played on when I was a kid, and used to be in my bedroom before I moved out of home.

I took lessons for a long time, but I think I stopped around mid-high school, as I found playing to pass exams boring, and would rather just play whatever song I wanted. Not that I was ever skilled enough to do that, but sometimes I persevered long enough to play all of a song.

I’ve never considered myself particularly musical. I don’t generally listen to music. I started to listen to music at work, in order to try and be more productive, but I realised that simply putting the earphones into my ears had the same effect (it seems to be a visual “Do not disturb” cue). That’s not to say I don’t enjoy music, with classical and jazz being my favourite genres.

Olek recommended a couple of jazz CDs, which I bought, and the songs are part of my regular playlist. While listening to them, I always wonder if I genuinely enjoy jazz music, or if I like it because it reminds me of someone important to me.

There was that period of my life where things were quite dark, and I was seeing a psychologist to help deal with some issues (yep, I was the typical emo teen). One part that always stood out was my weekly piano lesson. I wouldn’t say that I was in love with my piano teacher, but there was a pretty big crush going on. He was really into jazz music, but he was also incredibly into music in general. He was so passionate about music and it was contagious.

I was never any good at playing the piano, and it really showed while I was learning. Eventually, I’d learn to play via muscle memory, but there was never any heart in my music, and it was often quite mechanical. Then I was introduced to jazz music, and I think the unconventional nature of it made playing so much fun. Just the feeling of hitting the notes, even if it wasn’t perfectly in time. He made me feel that this music wasn’t about playing perfectly, and there was just something so relaxing about that. When my piano teacher played jazz, he transformed into a completely different person. I could never manage to mimic the amount of expression he put into his music. Even when we were both playing the same song, and it was one I had practised for hours, there was always this lightness and sense of mischief in his music that I could never capture.

It has always made me wonder if I enjoy jazz music, or I enjoy the memory it brings of him.

After the piano was tuned, I played a bit, but I’ve forgotten nearly everything. Where I was once able to just sit down at the piano and play, my hands felt so lost, and clunky at the keys. It’s going to be a long climb to get back to where I was.

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