Playing is working

So lately I’m just sitting down at the piano and playing. I used to have some pieces I was “working on,” where I would get the metronome out and learn every nuance of the piece with painstaking deliberateness. These days, I’m just getting back to the piano after a couple of months away, so I don’t feel like taking it that seriously. Ironically, I am learning much faster and better than I used to.

This weekend I’m staying with my parents in Maine. It snowed all day, so what else to do but play with my sixteen-month-old nephew and play a little piano? I decided to play from a book my siblings and I used when we were kids, filled with many of the pieces I’m teaching my own students.

Some of these pieces never get old - I could play them every day for the rest of my life and not tire of them. Others I’ve never liked and never will. Today, I most enjoyed playing those pieces which used to look too scary to me to even try, but now flow easily. While this is the result of several years of work, the benefit has mostly become evident only recently.

What I used to do, when things were going well, was pick something really hard to work on. Now, instead, I’m just going to keep playing.


Khatchaturian - “Ivan Sings”

Kabalevsky - “Slow Waltz” & “A Sad Story”

Tchaikovsky - “Italian Folk Song”