On The Piano

When you play,

never mind who listens to you.

Robert Schumann


“Why don’t you take piano lessons?” a friend inquired.  I had confessed I’ve been wanting to step up my self-taught oido repertoire but shudder at the dreary chore of classical training.  While I enjoy listening to the elegant classics, I’m more Ella Fitzgerald than Mozart with piano playing.  And would my kids let me get away with “illiterate” lessons when they have been required to read flats and sharps?  I’m not telling them.

I texted their piano teacher, “Would you like a summer student who wants to play like a pro without reading sheet music?”  She’s the hippie improv type despite her classical education so I knew she’d be up for the challenge.  Still, I held my breath waiting for her response the next day.  “That would be fun!” she said.  Whew!

Last week, I sat on her bench and we began, “Show me what you know…”  She taught me how to run my fingers so they don’t stumble all over each other as they discovered nooks among the black and white keys they’ve never been before.  She tells me to strengthen the little used pinkie and 4th fingers, as well as my ear, by doing the tedious scales.  I told her the direction I want to take and she tells me to practice, practice, practice–way before the morning of our next lesson if possible.  I notice days slipping by with no time to touch the keys.  There’s always one more thing on my To Do list, there’s someone sleeping so “Ssshhh!,” and I can already see the men in the house signing a petition to ban my clunky repetitious tune.

No matter, I’ll persist and be my #1 fan.  I could even give procrastinating a break today.  I’ll finish this blog and head straight to the keys (not Florida.)  And guess what’s my beginner piece?  “Summertime,” naturally.

Click on “Leave a Comment” (above left) to share what new tricks you’re never too old to start learning.





© Sharon Birke

201 697 1947

Email me


Glamour Portraits of the Goddess in Every Wife & Mother


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Mountain
    Jul 11, 2013 @ 08:53:22

    This subject hit a chord, 😉 with me. I love the piano and am looking for the same teacher for the same reasons. Just get me moving in the right direction and I’ll do the rest. For me I just plug in my headphones and only torture myself with my amazing playing. I’m a little more rock and roll and boogie woogie but love it all! I found this talented little lady on You-Tube, Stephanie Trick. I could listen to her for hours and you can’t help but move to her renditions of jazz and boogie woogie classics.

    A Goddess and a piano…can’t go wrong! I applaud you Sharky, for your many talents. Bravo!!



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