Pianist John from Pennsylvania tells us about three benefits he has acquired in life by learning to play the piano by himself. Let’s see them together
Vertical Piano for self-taught study
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When I was about 10 years old my parents decided to buy a vertical piano hoping that my older sister would become a great promise of music.
What they didn’t know was that she would soon stop playing for good to avoid removing the long false nails.
So, at that age, I found myself with a piano at home with no one who had the will and ability to teach me how to play.
The instrument remained there, unused for another 10 years, until one day I heard a song so beautiful that I wanted to learn how to play it.
When I was about 20 years old I started strumming the piano in complete autonomy.
A lot of water passed under the bridge and I noticed that with time it was not only my ability to play an instrument that improved, but also something inside me was changing and today I realize that this instrument has taught me many things.
Let’s see three reasons to learn to play the piano as an autodidact. In fact, four.
#1 Meditative focus worthy of a monk
Learning to play the piano by yourself helps personal meditation
As I often write on my blog CrescitaIndividuale.com, meditation is an extraordinary way to become aware of your body and to dramatically increase your concentration on the here and now.
What many people don’t say though, is that static meditation is just one of many forms of meditation.
The conscious individual is able to meditate by doing anything, even playing the piano or sweeping the floor, just as the ancient monks did.
Playing forces our mind to focus on the here and now: staying behind or trying to take the mind further in the construction of the melody is a mistake that inevitably leads to a low quality performance.
Learning to play the piano by myself has helped me a lot in this respect by increasing the effectiveness of my traditional meditation sessions.
#2 Confidence in myself and other people’s judgment
Another great benefit closely related to the topics I draw on my blog that I have achieved playing the piano, is the building of better self-confidence.
Especially in the early days, I played very easily when I was alone, but everything seemed more difficult when someone was listening.
When there was someone close to me, everything became confused and messy and I couldn’t express what I’d struggled to learn.
Over time, however, I gradually exposed myself and if at first it was just a few family members listening to me, now I have no difficulty playing the piano in stations all over the world when I travel.
In fact, it’s a pleasure to do so.
#3 The joy of spontaneous learning – learning to play the piano as a self-taught player
Learn to play the piano yourself: learning to play the piano
In my life I have experienced many times that following rules to learn is no fun.
Have you ever tried to play any sport with friends without rules that are too strict and a bit, how shall I put it, good?
Maybe you’ve played soccer or volleyball on the beach without caring too much about the rules: if you’ve tried it at least once, you know it’s damn funny.
Without too many rules, too many obligatory and standardized paths, that natural desire to succeed in what we do by following instinct and passion emerges.
Obviously, if we want to become complete pianists we must almost obligatorily follow a structured learning path.
But if we don’t have these ambitions, learning independently without following many rules, even if right, is very fun and stimulating.
Thanks to autonomous learning I have rediscovered the pleasure of learning and studying and above all of improvising to create something new.
#4 The philosophy of small steps
Another concept that winks at personal growth and that we find in music is the philosophy of small steps.
In the past, when I found a song I liked and wanted to learn how to play, I quickly went from enthusiasm to despair.
When I first read the score I thought I’d never make it and that it would be too difficult for me.
Actually, by segmenting learning into small steps you can learn almost anything.
Now I divide the score into small parts until I recognize the various lines and if necessary segment the learning note by note.
In this way even the most difficult melodies become practicable.
I’ve also learned to use this strategy in everyday life: when my goals are too big and I feel discouraged, I divide them into many small pieces.
Each piece taken individually is not complicated, in fact, it’s even trivial.
But one banality after another builds something incredible.
Learning to play the piano as a self-taught: the main points
Below we summarize the main points and the most important reasons why it was useful for me to learn to play the piano by myself:
- By learning to play the piano I dramatically increased my ability to concentrate on the here and now developing dynamic meditation.
- I have raised my self-confidence by exposing myself little by little to the judgment of others.
- Self-taught is an exciting form of learning that must be evaluated as an integration to guided learning methods.
- The strategy of small steps can be used in every field of our lives and gives us the opportunity to learn practically anything.
These were some of the benefits I gained from learning to play the piano as a self-taught person and that I wanted to share with The Music Blog.
More piano tips: 20 Amazing Piano Tips Every Learner Should Know