Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

SEARCH
the Forums & Piano World

This custom search works much better than the built in one and allows searching older posts.
(ad 125) Sweetwater - Digital Keyboards & Other Gear
Digital Pianos at Sweetwater
(ad) Pearl River
Pearl River Pianos
(ad) Pianoteq
(ad) P B Guide
Acoustic & Digital Piano Guide
PianoSupplies.com (150)
Piano Accessories Music Related Gifts Piano Tuning Equipment Piano Moving Equipment
We now offer Gift Certificates in our online store!
(ad) Estonia Piano
Estonia Piano
Quick Links to Useful Stuff
Our Classified Ads
Find Piano Professionals-

*Piano Dealers - Piano Stores
*Piano Tuners
*Piano Teachers
*Piano Movers
*Piano Restorations
*Piano Manufacturers
*Organs

Quick Links:
*Advertise On Piano World
*Free Piano Newsletter
*Online Piano Recitals
*Piano Recitals Index
*Piano Accessories
* Buying a Piano
*Buying A Acoustic Piano
*Buying a Digital Piano
*Pianos for Sale
*Sell Your Piano
*How Old is My Piano?
*Piano Books
*Piano Art, Pictures, & Posters
*Directory/Site Map
*Contest
*Links
*Virtual Piano
*Music Word Search
*Piano Screen Saver
*Piano Videos
*Virtual Piano Chords
Page 1 of 2 1 2 >
Topic Options
#1848722 - 02/20/12 09:57 PM Is it worth it?
WannabePT Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/06/11
Posts: 35
Sometimes, when I'm playing a piece for the nth time and am trying to get it right, when I'm trying to learn another difficult piece, when I'm churning in hours and hours of practice just to inch painfully closer to a higher level of piano playing, a little devil whispers in my ear, is this all worth it?

It's not like I'm ever going to be a concert pianist. It's not like anyone else, aside from me, enjoys my playing. It's not like I'm young anymore. Yet, the piano can take so much time from us. Considering I also have lofty goals, I think the only way to achieve these before I'm dead would be to play 4 to 6 hours a day, and even then, I doubt I'd ever reach my goals, because there's always another piece of music that I heard that I wanted to try...or another that I have begun to forget because I've neglected practicing it while I sought to learn another one, or another technique I have to master, or whatnot.

I do love playing piano. it is very easy to get so singleminded, in fact sometimes it is rrequired, if you want to get really good. Is it still worth it, though, at this age, to push yourself hard, and, say, shut yourself in the house so you can practice and put in those hours? It's like in another recent thread about vacations and the piano, when your life revolves around the piano so much, do you guys ever wonder what you will have to show for all that time and sacrifice? The trips you didn't take, the friends you didn't chitchat with on the phone, the job you refused because the commute time will eat into your practice time --whatever it is, will it all be worth it, in the end?

Why did we ever get a hobby that can easily swallow so much time anyway? I would appreciate any thoughts on this just so I can silence that niggling question that keeps distracting me during practice. Thanks!

Top
(ads P/S)

Petrof Pianos

#1848757 - 02/20/12 11:05 PM Re: Is it worth it? [Re: WannabePT]
polyphasicpianist Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/21/11
Posts: 1238
Let's suppose it takes you till the age of 85 to get to a respectable level of proficiency at the piano. Would you rather be 85 years old with or without that level of proficiency?

Top
#1848764 - 02/20/12 11:18 PM Re: Is it worth it? [Re: WannabePT]
chelle218 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/23/11
Posts: 9
Loc: NH
Originally Posted By: WannabePT
Considering I also have lofty goals, I think the only way to achieve these before I'm dead would be to play 4 to 6 hours a day, and even then, I doubt I'd ever reach my goals, because there's always another piece of music that I heard that I wanted to try...or another that I have begun to forget because I've neglected practicing it while I sought to learn another one, or another technique I have to master, or whatnot.


I think you've just described the feeling of almost EVERY pianist - not just that of a student who came to the piano later in life! For every new piece you learn, you'll find 3 more you'll want to learn; for every technical issue you overcome, you'll realize so many more issues lurking beyond that. It's the most infuriating thing about piano and also I think the most beautiful. There is always more work to do if you want to do it. If your goal is to be a concert pianist, or to show off, you're in it for the wrong reasons. There will always be pieces that are beyond you, but the point is just to love what you're doing! And love the fact that you're making music, which is something that you will be able to enjoy for the rest of your life. And others around you will probably be able to enjoy it as well.

Top
#1848774 - 02/20/12 11:31 PM Re: Is it worth it? [Re: WannabePT]
BenPiano Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/09
Posts: 1171
Loc: US
Originally Posted By: WannabePT
Why did we ever get a hobby that can easily swallow so much time anyway? I would appreciate any thoughts on this just so I can silence that niggling question that keeps distracting me during practice. Thanks!


It's a hobby.

Some people spend hours on golf (*), for no real purpose except they enjoy it (at least when they're not breaking clubs over their knee).

So would you rather spend an hour or two on the piano every day and learn some excellent music, or shank a little white ball around for a couple hours a day?

If you enjoy it as a hobby, then just enjoy it. thumb


(*) - replace "golf" with pretty much any other hobby
_________________________
Learning to play since June 2009.
My piano diary on You Tube: http://www.youtube.com/user/afpaSTU1096
<- 10+ ABF recitals

Top
#1848781 - 02/20/12 11:50 PM Re: Is it worth it? [Re: WannabePT]
ZoeCalgary Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/01/11
Posts: 748
Loc: Calgary Alberta
I believe everybody needs something that just for them,'something special, something they really enjoy. And I feel that they should get some amount of time to do whatever this special thing is. If you start feeling like you've missed out on other things because of your special something than maybe you need to re-examine your priorities. Missed chats, friends, and trips sounds like there is some regret. But all of us have limited time available to us so we must constantly choose between things. As long as you're not excluding all other things in life I think you should enjoy your time at the piano and treasure all you've learned so far and look forward to the next learning challenges. It is for you and as long as it brings you pleasure and not regret keep playing!!

I think anybody who is passionate about something has feelings like this all the time. But in the end we do it no matter our struggles and bad days and self doubt because we simply love it! Play on!

Top
#1848810 - 02/21/12 12:33 AM Re: Is it worth it? [Re: WannabePT]
SoundThumb Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 03/28/10
Posts: 344
Loc: San Diego, CA
To quote the movie Men in Black, "Oh yeah, it's worth it."

Top
#1848818 - 02/21/12 01:00 AM Re: Is it worth it? [Re: WannabePT]
LoPresti Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/10
Posts: 1304
Loc: New York
You might try NOT playing for a while, and see how that goes.

Ed
_________________________
In music, everything one does correctly helps everything else.

Top
#1848827 - 02/21/12 01:33 AM Re: Is it worth it? [Re: LoPresti]
SwissMS Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/09/11
Posts: 776
Loc: Switzerland
Yes, its worth it. Piano is rewarding in so many ways. No matter how long you have been playing, you never stop learning. It continues to challenge your mind.Studies have shown that piano playing improves cognitive function.

Sitting down to play is relaxing. It lowers your blood pressure.

Playing for friends is rewarding.

Doing the AFB recital is great for your self esteem! People here are very nice.

Lastly, it is just plain fun!
_________________________



European Piano Party July 4, 2015 in Switzerland!

Top
#1848829 - 02/21/12 01:39 AM Re: Is it worth it? [Re: WannabePT]
MaryBee Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/21/09
Posts: 1212
Loc: Cleveland, OH
Originally Posted By: WannabePT
whatever it is, will it all be worth it, in the end?
If you're waiting for it to be worth it in the end, you may be disappointed. Maybe you should ask yourself: is it worth it now?
_________________________
Mary Bee
Current mantra: Play outside the box.
XVI-XXXIV

Top
#1848835 - 02/21/12 02:08 AM Re: Is it worth it? [Re: WannabePT]
bigguy Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/02/11
Posts: 19
Loc: Texas
I don't think that anyone can really answer it for you. That being said, you might want to also consider whether or not you derive a sense of accomplishment from practicing so much, which may not translate directly into "fun", but it's something that you notice when it's gone. That's the biggest thing that piano has given me in my short time playing: something to work hard and see myself improving at, which was missing for a few years. I get frustrated fairly often, but it so far seems to be worth it once I clear whatever hurdle is in front of me.

Top
#1848896 - 02/21/12 06:05 AM Re: Is it worth it? [Re: WannabePT]
dmd Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/15/09
Posts: 1903
Loc: Pennsylvania
Playing piano is a hobby for me and as much as I love to play, I will never, absolutely never, use practicing as a reason for not doing something that I wish to do. All other activities that I wish to do come first. Going golfing with a friend, going out for dinner with my wife, having the kids over for a visit, playing with the dogs outside, mowing the lawn, doing the dishes (ugh), going to a movie, etc ...

If playing piano is a hobby, then it is important to treat it as such. You engage in it when you have time. You do not let it become too large a part of your life.
_________________________
Don

Current: ES7, Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 audio device, SennHeiser HD555 Phones, Focal CMS 40 Powered Monitors, Ravenscroft275, Ivory II American Concert D, Pianoteq 5

Top
#1848940 - 02/21/12 08:12 AM Re: Is it worth it? [Re: WannabePT]
WannabePT Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/06/11
Posts: 35
Thanks for the replies! I guess my dilemma had something to do with being instilled with the idea that a hobby is only good if it makes money. I was raised in a workaholic family, and everything had to have some kind of "use" or justification. in fact, in the beginning, what spurred me to learn piano was because our church needed a pianist. it just turned out I caught a bug afterwards!

LoPresti/Ed and bigguy : You're right. When I had stopped playing to focus on work, scholarships and travel, whenever I saw a piano, I missed the mental processes that went into playing a piece, even a very simple one. and that's how I got back into it after over 15 years smile

Zoecalgary: it's not so much regret as it is guilt smile being told to get a life by people who don't play piano, for example. Someone even went so far as to lecture me to go out more often. They thought I was in a slump. When i told them I was happy, they didnt believe me. I wasnt picking up the phone either, because I couldn't hear it ring over my playing.

It kind of sucks because they don't understand that Ihave to do all those hours to polish a piece. I tried timing my practice, and as the pieces get harder, I am finding that 30 minutes flies just polishing 8 measures of a piece I had been working on for half a year. Now if I multiply that by the number of pieces in my current repertoire and the passages I have to work on, easily 4 hours gone, without even having practiced exercises or scales, or working on old repertoire. We havent touched on memorizing yet. Drives me nuts. I don't really have to be a concert pianist. I just want to be able to play (and this is just for me, no one else even has to hear it) all the Chopin etudes, a couple of nocturnes, Liszt, rhapsody in blue, and maybe petrouchka and a Rachmaninov concerto before I'm dead. I'm not a prodigy, I am very average, I don't learn so fast. I HAVE to practice and put in hours.

Dmd: that's the challenge for me, being able to keep things in perspective and keeping priorities straight. When a person has been used to being driven regarding everything, it is so easy to have a hobby, especially something you enjoy so much, slowly take up a larger and larger chunk of your life.

Marybee: that's the scary thing. You know how we only know the wisdom of our actions in retrospect? Which brings me to what poly said, what if you're 85 and have arthritis on both hands and can't play a single note? oh...I should have climbed mount everest when I could still walk, instead of play and play piano and realize, I won't be able to play when I'm old anyway (not that I'd want to, it's just an example)

It's worse still, if you have other hobbies, and not just playing piano. I also like reading, I have to exercise, learn 2 new languages, etc etc. So my books are not getting read, my Chinese and Japanese are getting rusty, my waistline is expanding (but that has more to do with hating exercise and loving food, i guess, and not the piano!) There are just so many demands on time and so many things I would like to do.

But you guys are right. It's not like I can stop even if I wanted to, It's an addiction! so no use sweating over it. I'm just being a big worrywart.

Thanks, again, for sharing your own experiences and thoughts on this. Sorry if my response got a bit long. I think when I am finally able to play those pieces I said I wanted to play, I will just shout it on the AOTW thread.

Top
#1848941 - 02/21/12 08:12 AM Re: Is it worth it? [Re: WannabePT]
Michael Steen Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/26/07
Posts: 366
Loc: Sciota, Pennsylvania
I fully believe it's worth it if it's part of a BALANCED life. As you said, at "this" age (I'm 60), you're not going to be a concert pianist--or even a pianist in a cocktail lounge. You're playing for yourself, mostly. Yes, you may get to the point where you can mildly impress friends and family, but they've heard the recordings of great piano artists, and yours isn't likely to sound like that.

So is it worth it? Sure, if you get a real sense of accomplishment from conquering that piece that defeated you last week, if you truly enjoy the sounds coming from the instrument, if you feel a sense of calm and "belonging" when you play. Yes, then it's worth it.

But if you have to beg off from going to the movies with your spouse or accepting the dinner invitation from friends, if you give up that walk on a beautiful day in spring or refuse to start reading that exciting new mystery thriller because you "have" to practice--then, no, it's not worth it.

We only have so much time on this earth, so many hours to fit in the things that bring real joy and fulfillment--both to ourselves and others. As soon as any one of those things becomes a burden and a duty, it's time to reassess.

Piano playing is a hobby for anyone on this forum. If it's a career, then somebody's on the wrong forum. Hobbies are meant to fill idle hours, to give pleasure to the mind and the senses, to give the amateur a sense of accomplishment and fulfillment. Once they become obsessions, they're no longer hobbies. And they're no longer fun.
_________________________
I'm getting there--note by note.

Top
#1848946 - 02/21/12 08:24 AM Re: Is it worth it? [Re: dmd]
tlh1 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/12/12
Posts: 41
Loc: Florida
Originally Posted By: dmd
If playing piano is a hobby, then it is important to treat it as such. You engage in it when you have time. You do not let it become too large a part of your life.


Reminds me of David Barry who said "There is a fine line between hobby and mental illness".

... and yes I also occasionally cross that line but so far have not suffered any long-term consequences smile
_________________________
Oliver

Top
#1848955 - 02/21/12 08:38 AM Re: Is it worth it? [Re: Michael Steen]
WannabePT Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/06/11
Posts: 35
Thank you, Michael. Your post is comforting.

It was a beautiful day yesterday, and I went out for a short walk. it was good smile I should do it again.

Top
#1848981 - 02/21/12 09:25 AM Re: Is it worth it? [Re: WannabePT]
ZoeCalgary Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/01/11
Posts: 748
Loc: Calgary Alberta
WannabePT - I understand your sense of guilt of putting in so much time for a hobby that won't lead to a job or pay in any respect. It is a hard one to overcome. My parents generation had no time for hobbies. They were too busy making a go of it in a foreign country so 'we' their children could have more opportunities and a better life.

I know my parents and many of their peers don't know the meaning of the word hobby! When I told my parents I was going to do piano lessons (I'm in my 40's!) they were surprised. When asked why I simply said because I enjoy it and I want to learn it). Oh ok was the response. Haha. My main practice time is in the morning after dropping my kids to school. I get about 1-1.5 hours. I have told most people who know me that's my piano time. I let the phone get messages, the cleaning waits, etc. But when that time is done I need to get back to those things needing my attention. I know I am not likely to get other time during the day so I really protect that time slot for me. When friends ask me how long it takes to learn a piece they are amazed. (I'm early intermediate and nothing comes easy for me it's all practice and hard work!) sometimes I sense people wonder why would I do this then? To which I simply say I really enjoy it! I am transported to another place. It is relaxing (well most times!)and it is personally satisfying! Oh they say. What could anybody really say to that? I think for most they are just not willing to make that type of a commitment to anything and so they are amazed that I want to and can!

I know that as I hopefully progress I will need even more time to work on this. Sometimes this worries me because where will I find the time? Well so far so good so I try not to sorry about it too much.

Just make sure it doesn't control you and that you really are enjoying yourself. For me I used to walk during this time and i enjoyed that too and miss it. I realize I need to find time for both these enjoyable things so I'm looking closely at my schedule to see when that is going to happen and so I don't lose piano time! Juggle juggle juggle.
_________________________
Preparing Grade 6 RCM.


Top
#1849009 - 02/21/12 10:28 AM Re: Is it worth it? [Re: WannabePT]
dmd Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/15/09
Posts: 1903
Loc: Pennsylvania
Originally Posted By: wannabePT
I think when I am finally able to play those pieces I said I wanted to play, I will just shout it on the AOTW thread.


No, you won't. You will have forgotten all about that goal because you will be in the midst of a more ambitious goal. Did I mention ... it never ends ?
_________________________
Don

Current: ES7, Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 audio device, SennHeiser HD555 Phones, Focal CMS 40 Powered Monitors, Ravenscroft275, Ivory II American Concert D, Pianoteq 5

Top
#1849038 - 02/21/12 11:11 AM Re: Is it worth it? [Re: ZoeCalgary]
WannabePT Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/06/11
Posts: 35
Zoe: you hit the nail right on the head! my parents were exactly like that. So much so that all my hobbies, I was, ahem, able to make money out of at one point or other, because everything we did had to be worth something. Actually, even pets had to be worth something. Someone gave me a hamster when I was young, and my mom had me give it up because it was good for nothing and it only cost money to buy sunflower seeds to feed it with. Doggies were okay, they barked and kept intruders away! So, thank you for understanding. I'm also almost 40. it's funny how, even at this age, my parents' teachings still holds mighty sway over me!

The difference now is that since I'm older, there's no more justification at all. If I had been younger, I could still think, maybe...who knows...one day I can <be a concert pianist? Play in a lounge? Become better at math?> sometimes, you do it even if it's just to be praised by adults and to be told how talented you were. parents even force their kids to practice. no such thing now. now it's just a selfish, it's fun, I can't stop playing. BUT it just takes so much time! This may have been talked about in other threads. if I am duplicating what has already been said, I apologize in advance and will look those up later.

And yes, I think you also have that part right. I worry about having to put in more and more time just to get where I want to be. just a few days ago, I was wishing there was 3 of me so that one can be reading, one playing computer games (another time pit), and one playing piano. Triple the fun. And we're not even talking about the obligations yet! I have no children, and I know how much worse it can be for all of you in the forum who have them.

So, juggle, balance, go a bit overboard, juggle, balance. Rinse and repeat. Sounds like a plan.

Top
#1849049 - 02/21/12 11:34 AM Re: Is it worth it? [Re: WannabePT]
Stanza Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/18/02
Posts: 1458
Loc: Chapel Hill, NC
Hey! I golf and play piano...talk about time consuming! Sometimes I feel a little guilty playing golf ("in those 4-5hrs I could have learned x pages of my piece") sort of thing. Alternatively, I could be sitting at my piano on a beautiful day thinking "I should be golfing getting some fresh air and exercise, I can always practice at night or on rainy days".

To the OP. You just need patience. Learning music is organic and it needs time to grow, just as you can't force your plant to grow by dumping on twice as much fertilizer and twice as much water. Think about your pieces in two catagories. Those that are somewhat disposable (lesson pieces, some etudes) and the "keepers". The later are the ones you bring out repeatedly over the years and form the core of your repetoire. They actually get easier and easier, and grow stronger and stronger, with each new foray.
_________________________
Estonia L190 #7004
Casio PX 310
Yamaha NP 30

Top
#1849067 - 02/21/12 12:12 PM Re: Is it worth it? [Re: WannabePT]
Cmajor Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/03/11
Posts: 229
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: WannabePT
Zoe: you hit the nail right on the head! my parents were exactly like that. So much so that all my hobbies, I was, ahem, able to make money out of at one point or other, because everything we did had to be worth something. Actually, even pets had to be worth something. Someone gave me a hamster when I was young, and my mom had me give it up because it was good for nothing and it only cost money to buy sunflower seeds to feed it with. Doggies were okay, they barked and kept intruders away! So, thank you for understanding. I'm also almost 40. it's funny how, even at this age, my parents' teachings still holds mighty sway over me!

The difference now is that since I'm older, there's no more justification at all. If I had been younger, I could still think, maybe...who knows...one day I can <be a concert pianist? Play in a lounge? Become better at math?> sometimes, you do it even if it's just to be praised by adults and to be told how talented you were. parents even force their kids to practice. no such thing now. now it's just a selfish, it's fun, I can't stop playing. BUT it just takes so much time! This may have been talked about in other threads. if I am duplicating what has already been said, I apologize in advance and will look those up later.

And yes, I think you also have that part right. I worry about having to put in more and more time just to get where I want to be. just a few days ago, I was wishing there was 3 of me so that one can be reading, one playing computer games (another time pit), and one playing piano. Triple the fun. And we're not even talking about the obligations yet! I have no children, and I know how much worse it can be for all of you in the forum who have them.

So, juggle, balance, go a bit overboard, juggle, balance. Rinse and repeat. Sounds like a plan.


I too am an older adult who took up piano 11 months ago, the date of my retirement. I too will never be a concert pianist or play professionally, that is not my goal. My goal is to have fun and to keep my mind sharp in the process. "Use it or lose it" is a sound philosophy. The other very old and very wise observation is that moderation is the key. Many folks become completely obsessed with a hobby, or their work, or if not that, something else. It is their nature to do so and have probably exhibited obsessive behavior all their lives.

As always, those that participate in this forum offered up some great advise. Experience truly is the best teacher.

Your comment about the hamster and dog struck a chord. I am very involved with animal therapy and founded K9 Buddies several years ago. We are a non profit charity and you can visit our website at http://www.k9buddies.org It is sad that your parents did not see the value of the hamster. I'm sure the little creature had great value to you as a living thing that was totally dependent on you for its survival. I am certain you enjoyed watching him scurry about the cage and run endlessly on his wheel. As someone deeply involved with animal therapy, I feel certain that you got a lot out of just holding the little guy.

"Value" is what your perceive it to be... most folks would never think of spending thousands to restore an old Coca Cola machine but to some, the value of doing so cannot be measured. To me, how someone spends their time and dime is their business, so long as they are not hurting others. Sometimes a hobby can turn into a revenue producing activity but, for most, a hobby is just pure enjoyment.

I too have a hard time learning new pieces but I find that it is good to occasionally take a day or two off and seem to do better when I return to practice. I love the challenge and like to play, even exercises. No effort here is wasted. It helps my blood pressure and keeps me mentally challenged. I do it because, to me, it is fun. If the fun stops, I stop.

One of the best pieces of advice I ever saw on this forum was "just because you can't play basketball like Kobe Bryant, it does not mean you should never play the game". That was very well said and could not be more true. I play to entertain myself and that is it... nothing more. This is one big reason I don't employ a teacher. I don't care about levels or grading, I had enough of that in my working life. Don't take it too seriously, it is, after all, just a hobby. Food on the table does not depend on your piano playing abilities. I would be one very skinny dude if that was the case for me.

I think you may find, and I say this solely based on my own very limited piano experience, that if you relax the piano will relax, so to speak. Relax and have fun, laugh at your mistakes and your may find that you actually play better. If not, so what, as long as you're having fun and exercising your mind.

Top
#1849070 - 02/21/12 12:17 PM Re: Is it worth it? [Re: MaryBee]
ClsscLib Offline

Platinum Supporter until Jan 02 2013


Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 1786
Loc: Northern VA, U.S.
Originally Posted By: MaryBee
Originally Posted By: WannabePT
whatever it is, will it all be worth it, in the end?
If you're waiting for it to be worth it in the end, you may be disappointed. Maybe you should ask yourself: is it worth it now?


Couldn't agree more. It's not about the conclusion; it's about the process.
_________________________


"People may say I can't sing, but no one can ever say I didn't sing."

-- Florence Foster Jenkins

Top
#1849110 - 02/21/12 01:41 PM Re: Is it worth it? [Re: WannabePT]
Rickster Offline


Registered: 03/25/06
Posts: 8572
Loc: Georgia, USA
Interesting thread.

Is it worth it? As with many threads here on piano world, this one is somewhat philosophical in nature. So is learning to play the piano, to an extent, I suppose.

I’d like to add a little something different to this thread, if I may; a different slant, a different viewpoint, a different scenario, if you will.

Is it all worth it? Our efforts, our time, our mental energy spent learning to play the piano, practicing, or just spending time at the piano? I would say yes, in more ways than one…. the piano offers more than just an end result.

Some of you may already know this, and many of you do not, I suppose. So, here goes…

Those of you, who are fortunate enough to come and go as you please, do as you please, whenever you please, don’t realize how fortunate you are. If you have to work to make a living, as most of us do, then you have less time for other things. If you are fortunate enough to be retired, congratulations! You have earned your time of rest, relaxation and leisure, I’m sure. Learning to play the piano is a wonderful hobby, past-time, musical endeavor and philosophical journey. It adds a great deal of pleasure to our lives.

As for me, I’m not as fortunate as many of you, though I still have a lot for which to be thankful. To make a long story short, my wife of 36 years is severely disabled due to a brain tumor and brain surgery. She has been this way for about 15 years, since her brain surgery in February of 1997, in an effort to treat/remove the tumor, a benign meningioma. As a result of the surgery, which was risky to begin with, and less than successful, she is severely and totally disabled and cannot be left alone for more than an hour or so. In an effort to keep her out of a nursing home, I pay a sitter to stay with her during the day while I work. When I’m off work and on the weekends, I’m her primary care provider. She cannot walk without assistance and is confined to a wheel chair. She cannot transfer herself from one place to another and needs assistance to do so. She needs assistance to use the toilet and to bath and to get dressed. Her left arm is totally paralyzed. She can use the telephone, though her speech is impaired; she can use the TV remote and she can read. But, she is basically an invalid, though I hate to use that term.

I cannot come and go as I please or leave her alone for more than an hour or so, unless I arrange for someone to stay with her. My life (or hers) is not normal, the way most other people’s lives are considered normal. If I need to (or want to) attend an extracurricular event for my leisure or my job, I have to pay the sitter extra to stay with her. It is difficult and a chore to take her anywhere, though we do attend church on occasion and go shopping or to a restaurant on a rare occasion.

If I were not an optimist or the kind of person who tries to look at the glass half full, I could easily allow myself to become depressed. Life is difficult for me. Yet, in the midst of a very difficult situation, the piano offers a comfort, an oasis in a desert of despair, an outlet to relieve stress and a coping mechanism to help deal with my hardships in life. Though I can’t play very well at all, and I’m in the early stages of the learning curve, the piano helps to provide a great deal of solace, happiness and satisfaction in the midst of difficulty.

So, is it worth it? In my view, yes, very much so.

Thanks for listening! Sorry for the vent and the long post.

Rick
_________________________
Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel

Top
#1849112 - 02/21/12 01:43 PM Re: Is it worth it? [Re: WannabePT]
Kymber Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/25/08
Posts: 1348
Loc: MA
Originally Posted By: WannabePT


being told to get a life by people who don't play piano, for example. Someone even went so far as to lecture me to go out more often. They thought I was in a slump. When i told them I was happy, they didnt believe me.


Well first of all, I would listen to these people! Even if they don't get music, piano or whatever, they really don't sound like very supportive people.

To answer your question. Personally I do think it's worth it for the personal accomplishment. However, if you feel other parts of your life is suffering because of it then you might need to make room for other things as well. Can you listen to Japanese language programs while commuting to work for example. Can you get up a half hour earlier to fit in a workout.

I often get that little voice as well. Like "what am I doing this for?" It seems like I need more a reason or purpose for all of this besides just playing for the walls in my living room.

There's a saying that goes something like "obstacles are there to sort out the people who don't want it bad enough". Well sometimes I think that's what that stinkin' little voice it-an obstacle. And the people who succeed and reach their goals are the ones the do it even with that little bugger nagging in your ear.

For me even if nothing does come of it or I do nothing with it, I definitely would not regret doing it. Like someone said in one of their replies, everyone needs something. For me its piano. I do other creative types of things here and there but I could live without that. I would always regret it if I didn't learn to play the piano.

It's interesting because I just went back and read through some of the other posts and it made me think about all the time I wasted as a kid NOT playing the piano. I had lessons for a short period of time at about age 10ish. Less than a year. It wasn't due to lack of interest that I stopped. It had more to do with $ and my parents lack of interest in taking me to lessons and supporting me etc. I still tried to plunk away with what little I knew. But I really do regret all the time I spent doing useless things that could have been spent at the piano. I guess my main goal at the time was to spend as much time away from my somewhat abusive home environment as possible. Oh well. at least we all have found our way back to the piano now smile


Edited by Kymber (02/21/12 02:03 PM)
_________________________
“The doubters said, "Man cannot fly," The doers said, "Maybe, but we'll try,"
And finally soared in the morning glow while non-believers watched from below.”
― Bruce Lee

Top
#1849140 - 02/21/12 02:29 PM Re: Is it worth it? [Re: WannabePT]
Stanza Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/18/02
Posts: 1458
Loc: Chapel Hill, NC
Rickster, You have had a lot to deal with indeed. It is good that in the midst of this anguish that your musical endevours are helping you cope. I am also a glass half full guy and I always keep in mind that one doesn't have to read too much history to realize the blessings that most of us currently have. Hang in there.
(P.S. Does your wife enjoy your playing?)
_________________________
Estonia L190 #7004
Casio PX 310
Yamaha NP 30

Top
#1849141 - 02/21/12 02:29 PM Re: Is it worth it? [Re: Rickster]
Kymber Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/25/08
Posts: 1348
Loc: MA
Originally Posted By: Rickster
Interesting thread.

Is it worth it? As with many threads here on piano world, this one is somewhat philosophical in nature. So is learning to play the piano, to an extent, I suppose.

I’d like to add a little something different to this thread, if I may; a different slant, a different viewpoint, a different scenario, if you will.

Is it all worth it? Our efforts, our time, our mental energy spent learning to play the piano, practicing, or just spending time at the piano? I would say yes, in more ways than one…. the piano offers more than just an end result.

Some of you may already know this, and many of you do not, I suppose. So, here goes…

Those of you, who are fortunate enough to come and go as you please, do as you please, whenever you please, don’t realize how fortunate you are. If you have to work to make a living, as most of us do, then you have less time for other things. If you are fortunate enough to be retired, congratulations! You have earned your time of rest, relaxation and leisure, I’m sure. Learning to play the piano is a wonderful hobby, past-time, musical endeavor and philosophical journey. It adds a great deal of pleasure to our lives.

As for me, I’m not as fortunate as many of you, though I still have a lot for which to be thankful. To make a long story short, my wife of 36 years is severely disabled due to a brain tumor and brain surgery. She has been this way for about 15 years, since her brain surgery in February of 1997, in an effort to treat/remove the tumor, a benign meningioma. As a result of the surgery, which was risky to begin with, and less than successful, she is severely and totally disabled and cannot be left alone for more than an hour or so. In an effort to keep her out of a nursing home, I pay a sitter to stay with her during the day while I work. When I’m off work and on the weekends, I’m her primary care provider. She cannot walk without assistance and is confined to a wheel chair. She cannot transfer herself from one place to another and needs assistance to do so. She needs assistance to use the toilet and to bath and to get dressed. Her left arm is totally paralyzed. She can use the telephone, though her speech is impaired; she can use the TV remote and she can read. But, she is basically an invalid, though I hate to use that term.

I cannot come and go as I please or leave her alone for more than an hour or so, unless I arrange for someone to stay with her. My life (or hers) is not normal, the way most other people’s lives are considered normal. If I need to (or want to) attend an extracurricular event for my leisure or my job, I have to pay the sitter extra to stay with her. It is difficult and a chore to take her anywhere, though we do attend church on occasion and go shopping or to a restaurant on a rare occasion.

If I were not an optimist or the kind of person who tries to look at the glass half full, I could easily allow myself to become depressed. Life is difficult for me. Yet, in the midst of a very difficult situation, the piano offers a comfort, an oasis in a desert of despair, an outlet to relieve stress and a coping mechanism to help deal with my hardships in life. Though I can’t play very well at all, and I’m in the early stages of the learning curve, the piano helps to provide a great deal of solace, happiness and satisfaction in the midst of difficulty.

So, is it worth it? In my view, yes, very much so.

Thanks for listening! Sorry for the vent and the long post.

Rick


Rickster
I'm so sorry to hear about your wife and all of your difficulties. I really admire you for staying positive and caring for your her.

There's so much we take for granted and I thank you for reminded me of that.

I wish you and your family the best.
_________________________
“The doubters said, "Man cannot fly," The doers said, "Maybe, but we'll try,"
And finally soared in the morning glow while non-believers watched from below.”
― Bruce Lee

Top
#1849150 - 02/21/12 02:49 PM Re: Is it worth it? [Re: WannabePT]
Rickster Offline


Registered: 03/25/06
Posts: 8572
Loc: Georgia, USA
Originally Posted By: Stanza
(P.S. Does your wife enjoy your playing?)

Yes, she does (mostly laugh ).

She doesn't like some of the lyrics to some of my original blues tunes, but she understands that my music is an outlet for me and usually doesn’t protest too much. smile

I keep my cell phone with me when I’m in my music room indulging myself with my pianos, and she’ll call if she needs me.

Thanks for the kind words.

Rick
_________________________
Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel

Top
#1849173 - 02/21/12 03:36 PM Re: Is it worth it? [Re: Kymber]
ZoeCalgary Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/01/11
Posts: 748
Loc: Calgary Alberta
Rickster, I'm sorry to hear about your wife and about how much you have both been impacted by this. I too admire you for all you do for her. You are obviously a very caring and supportive person. And you are also very smart to know you need to do something to stay positive and strong for the two of you.

I do wish you both all the best and thanks for sharing a very personal story and a personal side of you. It reminds us all to treasure all that we have now, today, in this moment. To not have regrets and make each day the fullest it can be.

Take Care.
_________________________
Preparing Grade 6 RCM.


Top
#1849182 - 02/21/12 03:47 PM Re: Is it worth it? [Re: Rickster]
Inlanding Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/05/09
Posts: 1700
Loc: Colorado
Originally Posted By: Rickster
Interesting thread.

Is it worth it? As with many threads here on piano world, this one is somewhat philosophical in nature. So is learning to play the piano, to an extent, I suppose.

I’d like to add a little something different to this thread, if I may; a different slant, a different viewpoint, a different scenario, if you will.

Is it all worth it? Our efforts, our time, our mental energy spent learning to play the piano, practicing, or just spending time at the piano? I would say yes, in more ways than one…. the piano offers more than just an end result.

Some of you may already know this, and many of you do not, I suppose. So, here goes…

Those of you, who are fortunate enough to come and go as you please, do as you please, whenever you please, don’t realize how fortunate you are. If you have to work to make a living, as most of us do, then you have less time for other things. If you are fortunate enough to be retired, congratulations! You have earned your time of rest, relaxation and leisure, I’m sure. Learning to play the piano is a wonderful hobby, past-time, musical endeavor and philosophical journey. It adds a great deal of pleasure to our lives.

As for me, I’m not as fortunate as many of you, though I still have a lot for which to be thankful. To make a long story short, my wife of 36 years is severely disabled due to a brain tumor and brain surgery. She has been this way for about 15 years, since her brain surgery in February of 1997, in an effort to treat/remove the tumor, a benign meningioma. As a result of the surgery, which was risky to begin with, and less than successful, she is severely and totally disabled and cannot be left alone for more than an hour or so. In an effort to keep her out of a nursing home, I pay a sitter to stay with her during the day while I work. When I’m off work and on the weekends, I’m her primary care provider. She cannot walk without assistance and is confined to a wheel chair. She cannot transfer herself from one place to another and needs assistance to do so. She needs assistance to use the toilet and to bath and to get dressed. Her left arm is totally paralyzed. She can use the telephone, though her speech is impaired; she can use the TV remote and she can read. But, she is basically an invalid, though I hate to use that term.

I cannot come and go as I please or leave her alone for more than an hour or so, unless I arrange for someone to stay with her. My life (or hers) is not normal, the way most other people’s lives are considered normal. If I need to (or want to) attend an extracurricular event for my leisure or my job, I have to pay the sitter extra to stay with her. It is difficult and a chore to take her anywhere, though we do attend church on occasion and go shopping or to a restaurant on a rare occasion.

If I were not an optimist or the kind of person who tries to look at the glass half full, I could easily allow myself to become depressed. Life is difficult for me. Yet, in the midst of a very difficult situation, the piano offers a comfort, an oasis in a desert of despair, an outlet to relieve stress and a coping mechanism to help deal with my hardships in life. Though I can’t play very well at all, and I’m in the early stages of the learning curve, the piano helps to provide a great deal of solace, happiness and satisfaction in the midst of difficulty.

So, is it worth it? In my view, yes, very much so.

Thanks for listening! Sorry for the vent and the long post.

Rick


My thoughts go out to you and to your wife, Rick. I agree with all your points and from what I can observe, my friend, you are a glass is more than half full-type person.

Your enthusiasm for all you do is to be respected and admired - and even more-so, you are as optimistic as they come. Each of us has a lesson to be learned from another and yours hits the core! Thank you, Rick, and we are with you.

Glen
_________________________

A Bit of YouTube
PTG Associate Member

Top
#1849199 - 02/21/12 04:13 PM Re: Is it worth it? [Re: WannabePT]
WannabePT Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/06/11
Posts: 35
Rickster: Thank you for sharing your story. I understand what you mean when you say that your life is not normal in so many ways. My mother in law went through the same surgery for meningioma 15 years ago, and suffered a stroke a year ago. I took care of her for 6 month and was completely worn out. I couldn't leave the house, was on call 24/7...I admire your fortitude. When you have something like that on your plate, and piano becomes your solace, then in that case, it truly does become worth it.

Cmajor: Yes, I did enjoy my hamster a lot. I'm looking at the K9buddies website. This is amazing work your organization does!

Kymber: I also regret the time I spent away from the piano as a kid, too!

Stanza: Haha..Golf and Piano! I can imagine the confusion.

Thanks, guys! I had some good grins, laughs, and heartwarming reminders from this thread. Now I can get back to playing with more enjoyment.

Top
#1849885 - 02/22/12 10:19 PM Re: Is it worth it? [Re: WannabePT]
findingnemo2010 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/17/09
Posts: 1491
It is to me. It means the world to me. It means my life. Music
_________________________
music to me is kind of like putting together pieces of a puzzle
i call it the paino because its where i put all my pain

Top
Page 1 of 2 1 2 >

Moderator:  BB Player, casinitaly 
What's Hot!!
HOW TO POST PICTURES on the Piano Forums
-------------------
Sharing is Caring!
About the Buttons
-------------------
Forums Rules & Help
-------------------
ADVERTISE
on Piano World

The world's most popular piano web site.
-------------------
PIANO BOOKS
Interesting books about the piano, pianists, piano history, biographies, memoirs and more!
(125ad) Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
Ad (Seiler/Knabe)
Knabe Pianos
Sheet Music
(PW is an affiliate)
Sheet Music Plus Featured Sale
(ad) HAILUN Pianos
Hailun Pianos - Click for More
(ad) Lindeblad Piano
Lindeblad Piano Restoration
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Piano Lock Key -> what is it used for ?
by angga888
Today at 12:02 AM
Yurmauer Piano
by PhilipInChina
Yesterday at 11:54 PM
Books to Learn Notes for Teenagers?
by pianoheart
Yesterday at 11:37 PM
Jim Laabs Music - my experience buying a grand sight-unseen
by ernani
Yesterday at 09:44 PM
Buying a Grand Paino Sight-Unseen - my personal experience.
by ernani
Yesterday at 09:01 PM
Who's Online
78 registered (Anticlock, Adypiano, angga888, Anne H, 21 invisible), 1462 Guests and 12 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Stats
76712 Members
42 Forums
158628 Topics
2329756 Posts

Max Online: 15252 @ 03/21/10 11:39 PM
(ads by Google)

Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

 
Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
|
Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World | Donate | Link to Us | Classifieds |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter | Press Room |


copyright 1997 - 2014 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission