Any of you guys ever tell "your (piano) story" to someone?

Posted by: CebuKid

Any of you guys ever tell "your (piano) story" to someone? - 12/26/12 07:21 PM

At my place of employment where I've been for a couple of years now, I told my adult beginner piano story for the first time.

I'd say 2-3 others know passively about my piano playing, but today, I told this young engineer how I started, why I post youtube videos, and about this "forum" that I belong to where I occasionally participate in E-citals and discussions.

He was very amazed and impressed that I maintained "this hobby" and became proficient at it. It really put things in perspective for me, and reminded me why I play to begin with. smile ...a source of added motivation I guess.

How about you guys? Anyone else (besides family) know of your secret other life? lol
Posted by: joyoussong

Re: Any of you guys ever tell "your (piano) story" to someone? - 12/26/12 08:51 PM

Yes, just a few weeks ago I was talking about it with a young woman who comes to the pottery studio where I volunteer. The next time she came in, we were both working in the glaze room & she turned on Glenn Gould's Golberg Variations on her MP3 & "confessed" (it really had that tone to it - I guess liking classical music isn't something you admit to just anyone???) that it's her favourite album. & she was lamenting that she loves piano but is "too old" to start learning (she's 30, max). Then I told her about starting at 61, how it's been going, that I recently got a 2nd piano - a digital, so I can play early in the morning in my apartment. & by the time I left, I think she was reconsidering the possibility. Hope she goes for it!
Posted by: Michael_99

Re: Any of you guys ever tell "your (piano) story" to someone? - 12/26/12 09:49 PM

If you tell people anywhere that you are playing an instrument or are attempting to play an insrument, they will usually ask if you are taking lessons and/or they will tell you they played in high school and/or college. Interestingly, I don't ever remember anyone telling me specifically they played piano to a certain level, although, I remember people telling me that. The other aspect, of course, is your age. Generally, people don't relate to you playing an instument/piano if you are older as much as they do when you are younger. I remember a boss who retired in the 1970s when I was just starting my first job and he was a WWII pilot flying bombers during the war in Britian and Europe. I heard he was playing the piano after his retirement. What I don't know, of course, is did he play before he went to war or did he start playing after retirement. I suspect he must have played the piano before he went to war.

The most interesting question for me is people who say they played piano and then quit - and then say - they wished they hadn't stopped playing.

I undersand that someone going to college could stop playing the piano to concentrate on their university education, but otherwise why people stopped is very interesting.
Posted by: Sand Tiger

Re: Any of you guys ever tell "your (piano) story" to someone? - 12/26/12 10:07 PM

I talk to people about music all the time. Before piano keyboard, it was pennywhistle and Irish flute. I enjoy talking music, and songwriting.

In my weekly updates to the AOTW thread (achievement of the week), I have often mentioned a conversation with another musician, or songwriter, sometimes even strangers.
Posted by: CebuKid

Re: Any of you guys ever tell "your (piano) story" to someone? - 12/26/12 10:39 PM

Originally Posted By: Michael_99
If you tell people anywhere that you are playing an instrument or are attempting to play an insrument, they will usually ask if you are taking lessons and/or they will tell you they played in high school and/or college. Interestingly, I don't ever remember anyone telling me specifically they played piano to a certain level, although, I remember people telling me that. The other aspect, of course, is your age. Generally, people don't relate to you playing an instument/piano if you are older as much as they do when you are younger. I remember a boss who retired in the 1970s when I was just starting my first job and he was a WWII pilot flying bombers during the war in Britian and Europe. I heard he was playing the piano after his retirement. What I don't know, of course, is did he play before he went to war or did he start playing after retirement. I suspect he must have played the piano before he went to war.

The most interesting question for me is people who say they played piano and then quit - and then say - they wished they hadn't stopped playing.

I undersand that someone going to college could stop playing the piano to concentrate on their university education, but otherwise why people stopped is very interesting.


Michael, yes, I've been asked all those things before. Another popular question is "can you read sheet music?" I guess it's a foreign concept to many. smile

Quote:
The most interesting question for me is people who say they played piano and then quit - and then say - they wished they hadn't stopped playing.


I've heard this comment from a few people as well. Most people live lives of could've-should've and would'ves... Just do it!!! ...is what I say.
Posted by: CebuKid

Re: Any of you guys ever tell "your (piano) story" to someone? - 12/26/12 10:44 PM

Originally Posted By: Sand Tiger
I talk to people about music all the time. Before piano keyboard, it was pennywhistle and Irish flute. I enjoy talking music, and songwriting.

In my weekly updates to the AOTW thread (achievement of the week), I have often mentioned a conversation with another musician, or songwriter, sometimes even strangers.



Sand Tiger, that's good that you have some piano and music acquaintances in the real world. I think a lot of us (myself included of course) get our "piano talk" fix here on this forum.
Posted by: Michael_99

Re: Any of you guys ever tell "your (piano) story" to someone? - 12/26/12 11:54 PM

Well, when I used to play in a blues band in my 40s, as a beginner sax player, everybody in the band, 7 of us, all but me, played in school or college and so they all dreamed of going to New York and being famous and rich and I was excited just showing up every week for rehearsal at an old oonverted warehouse, rehearsal studio, smelled bad, looked bad - just as you would expect it to be.

Christmas dinner with old friends was great as usual. The subject of discussion was the movie les miserables, a local play, the colour of their walls where they live. Someone mentioned I had a piano and if I was taking lessions and that was it. There were no words that I could use so they could understand the joy I get from playing the piano.
Posted by: Peter K. Mose

Re: Any of you guys ever tell "your (piano) story" to someone? - 12/27/12 12:24 AM

Originally Posted By: Michael_99

Someone mentioned I had a piano and if I was taking lessions and that was it. There were no words that I could use so they could understand the joy I get from playing the piano.


Well put. Unless there is a kindred spirit, perhaps someone who pursued music earlier in life, the mention of music often falls flat. I don't know why. Except this may be true of many a hobby or passion, not just music.
Posted by: BenPiano

Re: Any of you guys ever tell "your (piano) story" to someone? - 12/27/12 01:10 AM

Originally Posted By: CebuKid
How about you guys? Anyone else (besides family) know of your secret other life? lol


ha "Secret other life". It's true!

At the beginning of my piano journey, I think I slipped in my new-found hobby into any conversation I could. Usually the conversation took another direction swiftly thereafter.

First, it's not usual that adults pick up an instrument later in life. Second, most don't know a thing about piano or any other instrument, so it's a conversation stopper, and as I learned, and an uninteresting hobby for those I opened up to briefly.

But I still toil and practice, because I love it and want to get better.

Within the past year, I've been caught playing by neighbors or parents swinging by to pick up their kids from play-dates. I get a nice complement and then the conversation moves elsewhere.

(as it should)

It's really not important to anyone else but me. smile
Posted by: Michael_99

Re: Any of you guys ever tell "your (piano) story" to someone? - 12/27/12 03:41 AM

Now that I think about it, golfers often talked about golf, which I know nothing about, but golfers, men or women, or even kids always seemed to talk openly about golfing and the context is that perhaps most people in the world don't always include as part of their life, things that give them pleasure, joy, and satisfaction.

In the way that golfers struggle through the course, musicians/piano players struggle slowly through the measures for weeks and months until we can play the piece and then there will be a long time of playing the piece polishing it off.

Additionally, I don't have tv and haven't had tv since I left home when I was 19, but people at work would always talk about television or television shows and I could tell they were talking about television because whatever they were saying, I didn't understand, and sure enough they would say yes, it is television.
Posted by: Toastie

Re: Any of you guys ever tell "your (piano) story" to someone? - 12/27/12 05:55 AM

I talk about it all the time to anyone who will listen. I think I probably often bore people, but I can't last for long without at least mentioning piano, as for some reason it's never far from my mind.
Posted by: WiseBuff

Re: Any of you guys ever tell "your (piano) story" to someone? - 12/27/12 06:49 AM

The tone of obsession must be evident to others when I share that I have to get up at 4 or 5 am so that I can play the piano every day. Without fail they assume that this means that I'm really "good" at playing the piano. Although I assure them that I'm striving to be better than I was and no where near an advanced level, they are set in their belief that no one plays as an adult unless they are gifted. Stumbling on someone with an interest in music is golden. The new director of the honors program met with me to talk about the program and when I discovered that he is a pianist, that's all we talked about. Pretty sure he still wanted to talk about the honors program. My other interest is showing my German Shepherds and that too only finds a rare sharing of the interest. But I can talk football and baseball too so I do have work conversations about something other than our work.
Posted by: adultpianist

Re: Any of you guys ever tell "your (piano) story" to someone? - 12/27/12 06:59 AM

I have only told a couple of people at work that I am learning piano etc. I am rather a private person and do not like to mix business with pleasure. To me, work is work where I go to earn a living, and I have my social life and friends outside of work. Even when I asked for a day off work to sit my recent exam, I did not tell them why I needed the day off. What I do in my spare time is not really something I want my office to know about. I have told people I know outside of work but I generally find that if they are not interested in music or have never played an instrument, they will nod politely but thats as far as their interest goes. I now only speak to those who are fellow musicians or concert goers who appreciate music like I do. The rest of the people I have told are only being polite when I tell them I am learning the piano or have passed my exam. One non musical friend of mine said to me... Oh you can become a music teacher then. confused

She doesn't know the first thing about music or what it entails to become good enough to teach the subject.

Some of my non musical friends are genuinely pleased that I have this hobby and are encouraging,but its the ones who have studied an instrument however long ago who really understand and know what it all means. One of my work colleagues took piano and trumpet as a teenager and got up to Grade 6 in each instrument. He only stopped when he left school because at school, the school funded his lessons and exams. Now he would have to pay for them himself and he does not want to pay out the money. He earns more money than me and yet I am the one paying out for lessons because I am passionate about it. Perhaps he feels he has done enough music study. He did however say he still plays both instruments, so he doesn't let his skills lapse.
Posted by: Allard

Re: Any of you guys ever tell "your (piano) story" to someone? - 12/27/12 09:44 AM

I let anyone know; I guess whether they want to or not!

My parents sat through Christmas Eve last year with me playing songs from the first Alfred's adult Christmas book, with all of two months of experience. Mom used to sing in a choir, so she's interested in music, but there was no way she could sing along without throwing me off, or the song was transposed to make it both easy to play and impossible to sing along.

Whenever I finish a song (a proper song, not from Alfred's), I record it and post to Youtube and Facebook. Judging from the views, not too many people actually care, but that won't stop me smile

A few co-workers actually have some interest in music and sometimes I talk with them about it. One studied at the conservatory for a year or so before switching to another subject. He doesn't play anymore but lent me a book with Bach inventions that I can't play yet. Another colleague has a grand piano at home and just last week recorded a song to show me what he can play. He plays some casual jazz with a band, sometimes has a gig, and is generally much more experienced than me, though he can't read sheet music.

My best friend doesn't play, but he shows some interest in my playing. Can't really talk about it much, but he doesn't mind listening to a song or two. We sometimes go to concerts together, ranging from Muse last week to Ludovico Einaudi next year!

Finally, my sister is very enthousiastic about it all. She doesn't play much, but wants to start violin lessons after finishing her studies. We played a few songs together for Christmas this year. So much fun! She's also crazy about Final Fantasy and won't have me stop playing To Zanarkand laugh
Posted by: adultpianist

Re: Any of you guys ever tell "your (piano) story" to someone? - 12/27/12 09:56 AM

ok. I have tried talking about it to my mother who has an interest in classical music but she does not know any theory. She does not show much of an interest in what I do. Has never asked what pieces I am playing or ever asked what I have to do in an exam. She told me it is a good idea to take as many exam as possible. She does not understand that you can learn wthout sitting an exam. So that is why I am glad I have found this site so we can all bounce ideas off each other. I belong to a church where we have a choir. One of the members of the choir works as a music examiner. She examins people who take masters degrees and I have told her that I am learning piano. She has never willingly wanted to discuss music with me. I guess because she does it for a job she feels she wants to get away from the student/teacher chat in her free time. There are teachers on here who give advice but thats because they joined this site for that reason. Everyone is different.
Posted by: Charles Cohen

Re: Any of you guys ever tell "your (piano) story" to someone? - 12/27/12 10:51 AM

Originally Posted By: Michael_99

. . . There were no words that I could use so they could understand the joy I get from playing the piano.


There's the reason that musicians tend to hang out together.

My singing teacher has many older-adult students -- it seems to be a niche for her. She also runs a choir, and I just sang with them for the first time.

. . . What a joy!

It's too bad there are no "mass piano bands" where ten or twenty pianists can play together. That would be impractical with acoustic pianos, but it's realistic for digi-pianos. Maybe we'll need a new repertoire . . .

. Charles
Posted by: Forstergirl

Re: Any of you guys ever tell "your (piano) story" to someone? - 12/27/12 11:03 AM

One of my favourite stories is how I came about to own a grand piano, and the gentle "trickery" my teacher used to ensure that I bought the piano I loved, and not something that I thought I should buy because he loved it. Turns out we both loved the same piano, but that's part of the story.

I don't tell it unless asked of course (not very frequent) and then I always know that I have a piano addict on my hands - quite fun!

I'm in an active choir, too - I find that most folks are (if interested at all) more interested in hearing about singing than playing the piano. I think it's just because most people I'm around in my working life don't play, and feel they don't know how to participate in a conversation. Or, as someone else has said, there's the standard "I used to play and I wish I did now" response. And, also as some else has said, common conversations revolve around sports and television shows. Since I don't follow sports, I've been guilty of memorizing the names of the teams and the winning scores of the truly big games the morning after so that I can understand the conversations a little bit. The television shows I admit defeat.

I've been learning Facebook protocols - does anyone here use it just to communicate your musical goings on?
Posted by: outo

Re: Any of you guys ever tell "your (piano) story" to someone? - 12/27/12 12:47 PM

Originally Posted By: WiseBuff
The tone of obsession must be evident to others when I share that I have to get up at 4 or 5 am so that I can play the piano every day. Without fail they assume that this means that I'm really "good" at playing the piano. Although I assure them that I'm striving to be better than I was and no where near an advanced level, they are set in their belief that no one plays as an adult unless they are gifted.


I also find that people have a hard time understanding that I practice everyday a lot and I am still not really good at it. They just don't get it that learning to play is not something you just do in a certain time frame, but is a never ending journey and to get even the basics requires a lot of time. The fact that I completely stopped for 30 years because I had no access to piano and thought I didn't have what it takes to be good at it anyway, just makes me more determined now that I am older and wiser.


Originally Posted By: WiseBuff
My other interest is showing my German Shepherds and that too only finds a rare sharing of the interest.


Funny, my other passion has been breeding and showing pedigree cats and that's also something that normal people would never understand.

I do know some people who play "a little" but they don't seem to have the same level of passion on it. Maybe missing out all those potential years of learning just makes it more intensive for me...
Posted by: zillybug

Re: Any of you guys ever tell "your (piano) story" to someone? - 12/27/12 02:40 PM

I talk about it to anyone who will listen. One day when I mentioned that I was taking piano lessons at work. The nurse at work told me that she was a cellist and asked if I wanted to play together. She then introduced me to one of her friends who plays both the violin and piano and the 3 of us now get together every few weeks to play together. It's been quite a challenge but also a lot of fun. The cellist who is a nurse now actually has a degree in cello so she is more advanced than I am. It is really nice to have 2 friends who are interested in music as we also go to concerts together.
Posted by: Toastie

Re: Any of you guys ever tell "your (piano) story" to someone? - 12/27/12 02:56 PM

I haven't yet managed to find anyone in real life who wants to discuss it with me. There is a woman at work who plays to a very high standard, but she never wants to talk about it, I guess because she's played so long it's not interesting to discuss it with a beginner. There are also a couple of people I know who are self taught or had lessons when they were younger, but they always look at me like I'm mad too if I try to have a conversation about it. I used to think I was nuts until I found you lot on here. I'm having a warm, fuzzy moment - I love you guys xxx
Posted by: SoundThumb

Re: Any of you guys ever tell "your (piano) story" to someone? - 12/27/12 04:54 PM

I had someone at my house doing some repair work recently. He overheard me practicing and made some mention of it. So I took the opportunity to explain that I had started lessons 5 years ago and how much I enjoy it. He was surprised at how far along I had gotten in that time and said he had always wanted to learn to play but thought he was too old to start. I just laughed at him because he was clearly less than half my age!
Posted by: CebuKid

Re: Any of you guys ever tell "your (piano) story" to someone? - 12/27/12 06:54 PM

Originally Posted By: BenPiano

First, it's not usual that adults pick up an instrument later in life. Second, most don't know a thing about piano or any other instrument, so it's a conversation stopper, and as I learned, and an uninteresting hobby for those I opened up to briefly.


Bingo..you hit the nail on the head there. smile I don't think the general population can relate to what *we* do, so they lose interest quickly!

Most adults who *talk* about one day picking up piano, guitar, or any other musical instrument never actually do it. There's always an excuse, other life event, or some other excuse for postponement.... Of the adults who talk about, or think about playing, the percentage of those who actually do make the leap is probably extremely low. (betcha it's less than 1%).
Posted by: EdwardianPiano

Re: Any of you guys ever tell "your (piano) story" to someone? - 12/27/12 07:39 PM

Quote:
I used to think I was nuts until I found you lot on here. I'm having a warm, fuzzy moment - I love you guys xxx



Playing and loving piano isn't nuts Toastie! I echo your sentiments back xxx


Wisebuff- 4 and 5 am!! That's dedication! I presume you either have a digital or live in a detached house!
Posted by: WiseBuff

Re: Any of you guys ever tell "your (piano) story" to someone? - 12/28/12 07:11 AM

Edwardian Piano
Many years ago we bought a home on 2.7 acres of land surrounded by plots of 70-80 acre neighbors. We originally had horses but now the barn is used for workshop and a grooming salon. When we enlarged the kitchen we were affected with a bad case of "while we're at it disease" and ended up adding on to the house...a piano room (aka living room or library) and a master suite. Naturally I needed a grand piano for such a space. I'd been playing on an old upright given to me as a child. The joy of playing on a nice instrument made me want to play more and I have for many years.

Although we've had issues with the neighbors (access road, fences, our children's actions, etc.) they don't hear the piano which is cocooned in it's own room and I can almost play when I want to. My husband leaves for work at 4 or 5 in the morning so on workdays I can start then. On the weekends I remember to play music he likes (not classical) and we're both happy. Somehow he finds my work on the scales and chords less than musical. Must be that they need more work :-)
Posted by: FarmGirl

Re: Any of you guys ever tell "your (piano) story" to someone? - 12/28/12 10:49 AM

Wisebuff - that's such an awesome set up. You could have an ABF retreat on your property. I will dream of a day I get invited to your piano party. I have to complete my piano room so that I can play all the time. Am moving the piano after next December to a room which is my puppy's nursery (the room he could mess up). I was told that Golden Retrivers stop chewing after they reach 2 year. I need to sound proof the room and change the double door to sound proof door of sort. It's not for outsiders but for my husband who likes to sleep 8 hours and watch plenty of TV.
Posted by: FarmGirl

Re: Any of you guys ever tell "your (piano) story" to someone? - 12/28/12 10:56 AM

For the topic, I tell plenty of people about my piano hobby but no one takes me seriously. Because I'm usually very funny, they think I'm kidding. It's just does not match with my perceived personality. Those who do believe me think I'm kinda noodling around Karaoke tunes or jazz or something more cool than classical music. What people do think women who love to play classical music look like, I sometimes wonder. "A bit more lady like", my hubby here rudely interjects. Is that so?
Posted by: Sam S

Re: Any of you guys ever tell "your (piano) story" to someone? - 12/28/12 12:25 PM

I definitely kept it a secret from my boss. For several years I practiced piano at lunchtime by going over to the School of Music (I work at a large university) and playing the pianos there. But it was not something that I wanted the boss to know.

But I did tell my friends. I don't think anyone really took me seriously. Recently I had a music party and invited several of them as audience. They said they had a good time, but I think they were more impressed by the bluegrass portion of the evening than by the classical piano portion.

Sam
Posted by: CebuKid

Re: Any of you guys ever tell "your (piano) story" to someone? - 12/28/12 11:19 PM

Originally Posted By: Michael_99
Now that I think about it, golfers often talked about golf, which I know nothing about, but golfers, men or women, or even kids always seemed to talk openly about golfing and the context is that perhaps most people in the world don't always include as part of their life, things that give them pleasure, joy, and satisfaction.

In the way that golfers struggle through the course, musicians/piano players struggle slowly through the measures for weeks and months until we can play the piece and then there will be a long time of playing the piece polishing it off.

Additionally, I don't have tv and haven't had tv since I left home when I was 19, but people at work would always talk about television or television shows and I could tell they were talking about television because whatever they were saying, I didn't understand, and sure enough they would say yes, it is television.


Michael, yes, I completely get your point. I was into golf for 8 years...at my best, a 25 handicap. Basically, I sucked...lol...but wasn't shy to talk about it to anyone who wanted to listen because it was my passion at the time. In general, other guys - even non-golfers - will listen to any golf (or sports) story.

As for piano, I guess I'm roughly a 15 handicap (low-to-mid intermediate). Generally, I think most people don't find classical music or musical instruments interesting - especially if it's an adult doing it. Evidence of this is that youtube video that's been floating around of that renowned Violinist playing Bach at a subway station with hardly a soul stopping to watch or listen.

Perhaps most people don't grasp the reward of piano and being able to play music. With sports or golf, there's a score that you post and your playing partners *see* your golf shots - it's easier to judge and relate to.

Through the 25+ years that I didn't play, I've always listened intently to peoples' kids playing at parties (and wishing that I could play again), and always maintained a some interest in classical music - I had a small collection of Beethoven symphony CD's and piano music. I guess you could say I was a pianist waiting to be reborn... smile
Posted by: jotur

Re: Any of you guys ever tell "your (piano) story" to someone? - 12/29/12 12:18 AM

I guess I can't even imagine not talking to folks about piano, and I can't say I've ever run into a "not interested" response. It doesn't seem to me any different from any other passtime - gardening, for instance. Or weaving. Or sports car racing. Or ballroom dancing, or taking bridge lessons. Or backpacking. Or elk hunting. All of which are activities that friends of mine do. And I enjoy their stories, and they enjoy mine.

I have many friends that are musicians. Their work friends come to hear our band play on St. Patrick's Day, and their bosses come. A couple of my clients are musicians and we go to each other's gigs, or go to hear other bands. A colleague of mine and I had season symphony tickets one time.

I go to my friend's weaving exhibits, and their races. I eat stuff from their gardens. I hope to eat some of their elk this winter laugh

I can't figure out what kind of a work environment, in which you talk about something besides work occasionally, would be either indifferent or hostile to some talk about everyone's passtimes. When I was actually an employee and not a contractor I'd hang my recital medal from the ABF recital on my office door smile For some people I'd play my recital piece that had been posted.

I find there are parallels between the focus one needs to drive a race car and the focus one needs to play piano, and that gives us common ground. There's for sure parallels in "performance anxiety" between competitive sports and gigs! And those activities all benefit from being "in the zone." I don't weave, but I certainly appreciate the time and dedication and experimentation that it takes for my friends to dye their materials and prep their looms and make pattern cartoons, and they seem to appreciate the time and effort I have to put in to play piano well.

I don't think playing piano is any more exceptional than any of those other activities, in either a good or a bad way laugh , and I've just never been shy about saying something about it.

So I'm amazed that anyone might get any different a response than they would get if they were talking about golf. I'm as likely to say "I was at a piano party in Denver this weekend" as someone else is to say "we hiked up Baldy."

Live and learn, I guess. But I talk piano all the time. Maybe people are laughing behind my back laugh

Cathy
Posted by: jotur

Re: Any of you guys ever tell "your (piano) story" to someone? - 12/29/12 12:35 AM

Hm. Just out of curiosity I counted up how many posts in this thread were "I don't tell any one/I get disinterested responses", how many "I tell lots of folks/find they're interested/play other instruments", how many "I talk about it sometimes get interested/sometimes not" or otherwise were both sides of the fence, and. . .

they came out about even laugh

So I don't think there's evidence that "most" people, in a general sense, aren't interested at all. Apparently in some of the poster's work environments "most" people aren't interested, but by no means is it in "most" people's work environments. It seems pretty evenly split.

Cebukid - maybe you just need a different work environment smile Join some of my clients laugh Or other places I've worked. There must be one that would be more responsive to your interests, since the work environments, from the sample here, seem to be pretty evenly split. Get looking!

Cathy
Posted by: Sand Tiger

Re: Any of you guys ever tell "your (piano) story" to someone? - 12/29/12 10:18 AM

It is an interesting set of responses. There are some demographic groups that would be more responsive to an interest in classical piano. Advertisers and marketing types know the ages, the zipcodes and other factors that might drive a higher level of interest.

Another factor is how talkative and friendly a person is. I tend to be a quiet person, but will occasionally open up conversations. Say it is 5% of all folks that have much interest in my hobby. If I talk to 20 people, one will be interested. For some folks, 20 might be a year's worth of talking to people, for another it might be two days worth.

Rarely do I get the zero interest response. However, it is common for the one question "are you taking lessons?" and then nothing more. Sometimes it is two questions, lessons and what kind of piano? More than two questions, usually means another musician or someone with a passion for music.

Another part of it is how much interest I might show in their hobby (say golf, or tennis, or ballroom dancing, none of which I participate in). If I am not interested in their stories, they tend not to be interested in mine.

A separate but related hobby of mine, is songwriting. There might be 5% of musicians that are active songwriters, so a fellow songwriter is a far scarcer find. That said, more folks might be interested in songwriting as a casual topic than classical piano.
Posted by: Chopinlover49

Re: Any of you guys ever tell "your (piano) story" to someone? - 12/29/12 11:34 AM

I guess I spend most of my sharing time on this website as I have found few of my circle want to hear about my piano life. When I was shopping for my piano, and after I found it, I was dying to tell anyone who would listen, but found polite listening and realized I was the only one who wanted to hear about this.

I have posted on here about my struggle to get a piano, teaching myself to read music and play, and so on. Hopefully someone enjoyed reading these posts. I know my friends wouldn't have.

I am married to someone who dislikes piano music, classical and jazz music in general, and really doesn't care much whether she hears music for weeks at a time. Fortunately, she indulges my interest and never made me feel guilty as I collected about 6000 cds of classical and jazz music. She also encouraged me to buy my almost-new Mason-Hamlin BB grand piano this year for a price higher than we paid for our house.

As long as I shut the door when I play, she is fine with it all. I wish she loved the music, but I am satisfied that she loves me.

Merry Christmas, everyone!
Posted by: Bob Newbie

Re: Any of you guys ever tell "your (piano) story" to someone? - 12/29/12 11:48 AM

6000 cds! I'd have a problem with that.. I copied all my cds(500)to mp3(192 bit rate)
I'm still reluctant to take them to the cd store and sell them..I'm glad I never
started a movie dvd collection.. its getting out of hand...
people can assess things about you by looking around your
living room, I recently had my roof done,and the roofing contractor looked around my living room and asked if i was a
professor(all my reference books) saw my piano and asked if
he could try it (played claire de lune)
and he cut me a break on the price of my roof... smile
Posted by: CebuKid

Re: Any of you guys ever tell "your (piano) story" to someone? - 12/30/12 11:57 AM

Originally Posted By: jotur



Cebukid - maybe you just need a different work environment smile Join some of my clients laugh Or other places I've worked. There must be one that would be more responsive to your interests, since the work environments, from the sample here, seem to be pretty evenly split. Get looking!

Cathy


Hey Cathy, either that, or join a band like you. smile
I work mostly with engineers (all types), and generally, they don't have an appreciation or interest in the arts.
Posted by: Michael Taylor

Re: Any of you guys ever tell "your (piano) story" to someone? - 12/30/12 06:57 PM

There are a few people on the job that will ask occasionally. One guy even invited me to a piano recital at his church.....those kids where AMAZING! It would be nice to have a few close friends who shared my love for piano, but that has not happened! My wife prefers that I play when she is not home....which isn't a problem for me (I can do without the criticism, questions, and interruptions.)

I'm not to keen on the idea of public performances, so none of this is an issue for me. My piano "hobby" is very much a personal thing that I don't mind keeping to myself.......unless someone really want to hear me play!
Posted by: HalfStep

Re: Any of you guys ever tell "your (piano) story" to someone? - 01/01/13 11:48 PM

I have been reading your stories and thought I'd respond. I am in education but there are a number of colleagues I work with who are musicians. It's interesting really. My boss plays at least six instruments but has never been classically trained. Another colleague of mine has been classically trained in piano but plays a lot of covers and other similar gigs. The only problem with discussing music is that we can go on for a while so it's not that productive at work. I also forgot to mention that my bosses, boss is also a classically trained musician. So, in short, I can discuss my interests with those I work with. Much of my information is gained from reading the posts from here though smile
Posted by: torquenale

Re: Any of you guys ever tell "your (piano) story" to someone? - 01/02/13 06:14 AM

Originally Posted By: CebuKid
[quote=jotur]

Hey Cathy, either that, or join a band like you. smile
I work mostly with engineers (all types), and generally, they don't have an appreciation or interest in the arts.



Hi CebuKid, I'm an engineer myself, I work with a lot of them and I married one. A lot of them are interested in music, and play an instrument themselves (my husband plays saxophones, mainly tenor).
Other friends of mine - not engineers - don't care about my piano passion.
In general, in my experience, persons who play or have played care and like to share experiences, even if they play different kind of music (a colleague of mine plays guitar in a hard-rock band, I play only classical), others not (unless they really love you).
Posted by: kenjazz

Re: Any of you guys ever tell "your (piano) story" to someone? - 01/02/13 06:56 PM

Originally Posted By: torquenale


Hi CebuKid, I'm an engineer myself, I work with a lot of them and I married one. A lot of them are interested in music, and play an instrument themselves (my husband plays saxophones, mainly tenor).
Other friends of mine - not engineers - don't care about my piano passion.



I would have to agree. All of the best Engineers have some background in the creative arts. I don't think I've ever met a good one one who didn't. In the days before computer science degrees were ubiquitous, we used to to filter technical resumes looking for musical background when looking for good candidates to train for computer engineering jobs. They always seemed to have the best prospects for success.

This has been a very interesting thread! My personal experience is that musical taste is so personal, that it is virtually impossible to find people in your real life that can share or even appreciate your passion. If you were singing Adele songs strumming acoustic guitar in your dorm room, you have a shot - but Classical and Jazz are just wildly unpopular in general.

The guy who finished our basement was a professional jazz guitarist and one of the original teachers at Berklee. He quit playing pretty much altogether because he just couldn't get anyone to listen. And he even had friends that he could get together with and play!

Interestingly, I've found that professional musicians are the absolute worst for appreciating amateur attempts at music. I guess it makes sense if you think about it as work for them. It would be like asking a Math teacher to correct your homework after a full day teaching. Not fun.

My take has been that through the magic of the internet, if you cast a wide enough net, you will find that handful of souls that are truly appreciative of what you are doing, and are in the same place that you are. It is a game of statistics. Of the billions of people on this earth, you can find the few that like your genre, style, sound, approach and dedication. The Pianoworld forums are awesome for this. Writing and posting to a blog is also great. I've found a few unexpected treasures this way from around the world.

I'll tell you one story... I posted a cover of "You Don't Know What Love Is" in 2011. My blog statistics told me that it was being downloaded 4-6 times a day for about four months in Bremen, Germany. I figured that it was one of those "bots" that will go around and automatically download stuff from the internet. I came to find out that it was a guy from University of Bremen who was going through a really bad breakup. The song struck him as providing just the right mood for his feelings, so he kept playing it!

Someone is out there for whom what you are creating is striking just the right chord....
Posted by: CebuKid

Re: Any of you guys ever tell "your (piano) story" to someone? - 01/05/13 03:47 PM

Originally Posted By: kenjazz
Originally Posted By: torquenale


Hi CebuKid, I'm an engineer myself, I work with a lot of them and I married one. A lot of them are interested in music, and play an instrument themselves (my husband plays saxophones, mainly tenor).
Other friends of mine - not engineers - don't care about my piano passion.



I would have to agree. All of the best Engineers have some background in the creative arts. I don't think I've ever met a good one one who didn't. In the days before computer science degrees were ubiquitous, we used to to filter technical resumes looking for musical background when looking for good candidates to train for computer engineering jobs. They always seemed to have the best prospects for success.

This has been a very interesting thread! My personal experience is that musical taste is so personal, that it is virtually impossible to find people in your real life that can share or even appreciate your passion. If you were singing Adele songs strumming acoustic guitar in your dorm room, you have a shot - but Classical and Jazz are just wildly unpopular in general.

The guy who finished our basement was a professional jazz guitarist and one of the original teachers at Berklee. He quit playing pretty much altogether because he just couldn't get anyone to listen. And he even had friends that he could get together with and play!

Interestingly, I've found that professional musicians are the absolute worst for appreciating amateur attempts at music. I guess it makes sense if you think about it as work for them. It would be like asking a Math teacher to correct your homework after a full day teaching. Not fun.

My take has been that through the magic of the internet, if you cast a wide enough net, you will find that handful of souls that are truly appreciative of what you are doing, and are in the same place that you are. It is a game of statistics. Of the billions of people on this earth, you can find the few that like your genre, style, sound, approach and dedication. The Pianoworld forums are awesome for this. Writing and posting to a blog is also great. I've found a few unexpected treasures this way from around the world.

I'll tell you one story... I posted a cover of "You Don't Know What Love Is" in 2011. My blog statistics told me that it was being downloaded 4-6 times a day for about four months in Bremen, Germany. I figured that it was one of those "bots" that will go around and automatically download stuff from the internet. I came to find out that it was a guy from University of Bremen who was going through a really bad breakup. The song struck him as providing just the right mood for his feelings, so he kept playing it!

Someone is out there for whom what you are creating is striking just the right chord....



Interesting comments, guys. I work for a very small company (making for a small pool or sample size), and yes, I'm a career engineer too. 2 of our engineers are active musicians, actually (drummers). I'm the only pianist there. smile

The reason I generalized is that most of the engineers I've dealt with eschew the "non-technical" - they complained about college coursework that wasn't math, science, or engineering related. Most of their outside interests involve home improving, fixing things, working on their cars, etc... I like to differentiate myself from them, because I do all that stuff too, but also, use my creative/artistic side.

I do agree that the majority of them had some type of childhood musical background which is why I'm a firm believer in the "math-music" connection. I think musical background somehow simulates the part of the brain that decodes patterns, shape, etc, and I know lots of you here are from the sciences too.

Anyway, great discussion and commentary.