By ◆ Juppie on Thursday, October 14, 2010 @ 7:50 PM

Since the beginning of this school year, I've taken to studying while playing piano so that I can save time. One of my teachers has said time and time again that students shouldn't multitask, but I feel like playing piano and reading information at the same time helps me to think better. Sometimes I come up with good ideas while I'm practicing piano, so I like to keep my binders propped up on the stand that you're supposed to put the piano sheet music on. Problem is, when I put pencils on there too, they have a tendency to roll off or get knocked off.

The pencils fall into this crevice between the cover for the piano keys and the main structure of the piano. I can never get them out after they've fallen in, so I had no idea for a long time what had become of my pencils. (I assumed that at least they hadn't broken the piano, since it still seems to work fine.) It was only recently, when I happened to drop another pencil in there, that I made a bigger effort to try and get into it. I saw where the pencils had fallen, but I can't reach it because my hand is not small enough anymore (ironic, since my hand is quite small, it hasn't grown for several years, and I had thought I would be able to fit it). And we don't have anything that is both thin, flexible, and hard that we can grab the pencils with and pull them out. I wonder if they'll stay in the piano forever. Perhaps someday someone else will come to own this piano, and they'll open it up and see those pencils inside. Something that was once of not much importance could become artifacts for future generations to find.

But there are more treasures than just objects to be found in the piano. Learning to play piano is frustrating in the beginning, and it can be painful in the end too (if your hands were somehow made unable to play piano in the future). I really think, though, that there's a lot to be said for playing a musical instrument. You will have to practice a lot. You can't give up as soon as you think "I can't do this, I'm just not good at it." I think that it's good to have something to strive for, to work towards perfection. Perfection may not exist, but you can keep improving yourself and get as close to it as possible. And your goal when you're playing an instrument may not be the same as mine or someone else's. What I hope to do is play beautifully, and to show my emotions through the music. I don't know if I've reached that stage or if I ever will. But I'll keep trying. I don't want to let go of the piano. Not the way I did with the flute and cello. I can't play either of them anymore.

I don't think you ought to keep playing an instrument if you really don't enjoy it, though. There is no way to be certain that you won't eventually come to like it, but if you want to quit, go ahead. Even if you come to regret it later, it ought to be your own choice. I remember meeting a girl who said she didn't really like to play piano, but her mom made her do it. Why? Because the mother think her daughter will be embarrassed later when she's the only one amongst her friends who can't play the piano. It's fine to be proud of your musical skills as long as that isn't the reason you're playing... I really don't think you ought to play an instrument for the sake of pride. Play because you enjoy, play because other people enjoy it, play to relieve stress, play because you want to get better at it...But please, don't play just to save yourself embarrassment.

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