About a month ago my husband bought me an early Christmas present – a shiny new Macbook. It is the prettiest little laptop with backlit keys and a glowing apple on the lid. Anyone who has used a Mac (especially a new one) understands the learning curve that I have had to climb to navigate my way through Appleland. I felt like a fish out of water for the first few days. Life was so much easier on my PC! Trying to work on my new laptop has been an adventure, but it isn’t going to keep me from working, playing, communicating and learning.
When you have been teaching piano lessons for nearly 20 years, you have heard every excuse imaginable at least twice. “It’s easier on my keyboard/piano” has got to be the most common phrase uttered by students during a lesson. Some students have century old pianos at home that have easy action, or a small keyboard at home which requires little muscle to play. Coming to the studio to play on my full size piano would be a little tricky and unsettling….the first time…..ok and maybe for the first 5 minutes of every lesson. Imagine having to play in front of an examiner or an audience on a piano you have never touched before! This is what is expected of students/musicians.
So how can you be prepared to play on any instrument you may be faced with? The best advice is to play on many different pianos, as many as you can! Play at a friend’s house, in a music store, at your church or town hall. Perform as much as you can. When you play for others you don’t have time to focus on the comfort level that the instrument provides – you are too busy producing beautiful music! : )
Now that I am accustomed to my new Macbook. When I sit in front of a PC I need to remember that the skills required to run the machine are a little different (I won’t get into the PC/Mac debate here…but Macs are easier…just saying…). I use the experience I have working with both machines, and produce the best work I can. I encourage students to do the same when faced with a new instrument. Use the knowledge, skill and experience you have and just do your best!
Happy Music Making!!