“The Average Piano Player”
By Edwin J., First Year CIP Berkshire Student
It was the year 2009 when I came back from summer vacation. I was a senior in high school. Life comes at you so fast and I still remember when my friend Kate told me that your four years in high school will go by really fast. I was like “yeah, sure” but before I knew it I was surprised. In my senior year I had a strong feeling that I was going to be challenged with difficult work but I did what I had to do to get things done.
I was still an average kid just attending all my classes and doing the best that I could to finish my work. My homework was completed, even if it didn’t turn out so great. As time passed by I finally had music class. Herman was the music teacher and Debbie was the assistant music teacher.
Herman gave us a choice of what instrument we wanted to play or learn how to play. I randomly chose guitar and so I had lessons and I was told were I should put my fingers. It was really difficult and I did the best that I could. But it was no cigar. The only song I ever learned was “Amazing Grace”. Later on I gave up so I gave my sister the guitar and she took my place. She became an amazing guitar player and it made her a much better singer.
Anyway, one day during high school it was free time and we all (the whole class) went to a room that had about eight to ten pianos. Now Anime always fascinated me and I really wanted to learn how to play an anime theme on piano. Anime are cartoons made in Japan, it means animation in Japanese. Anime shows are the type of cartoons that have more action and more deep and emotional story lines much more than American cartoons. I couldn’t play them the because I was still a rookie.
What I did was I randomly played for fun. As time went by I was in the room by myself with Debbie because school was nearly over and all the other students had left to go home. Meanwhile I tried playing an anime theme, which wasn’t really good. But when Debbie told me that I played nice, in my mind I was shocked because it seemed a bit odd but cool. At the same time she was the first one to give me that compliment. I never thought anyone would say that so I was a bit surprised.
At some point I was getting better at my piano playing. I asked my father to get me a full sized piano keyboard; I felt like I could learn a lot from it, by ear of course. And when I went to music class that day I played “Fur Elise” by Beethoven and I attracted nearly all of the students in the music room for the first time. They all came around the piano. I didn’t think that I could make that happen so I was really amazed I could play.
Although I felt excited inside, I didn’t show it because I thought I would look like an idiot. I just tried to look as normal as I could. I then realized something; all of this was possible and more. I knew I had a long way to go because I felt that I had some kind of potential.
I listened to my favorite kind of music on YouTube and I took a few tutorials that taught me better techniques on how to play in other ways or better ways which put me at an advantage. Even though it was hard I realized that I was putting myself to the test and I kept pushing forward because I love music so much. I didn’t want to let difficulties stop me, I put all the time and effort into what I wanted to accomplish.
Over time I started learning songs like “Halo” by Beyonce, “Apologize” by One Republic, “Poker Face” by Lady Gaga and also some of my favorite anime theme songs. As weeks were passing by I found myself teaching students who played for 7 to 8 years. They can read notes and I only played by ear. One student asked me “how long did you play”. I said, “I played for about 10 months”. Then the student said, “That’s awesome, I wish I can do that”. Another student said, “You sound like you’ve been playing for years”. I just loved their reaction and it was really enjoyable seeing that.
I even met a beautiful woman who was interested in me based on what I could do. Her name was Silvia. She was a girl I used to play volleyball with in gym class when I was 16. I said to her, “wow you’re pretty good at volleyball”. Then she said, “I know I’ve been playing for quite a while, but do you have what it takes to beat me”? I said “no but I’m willing to try to beat you”. She had her team and I had mine and we ended up winning back and forth so we had fun.
Anyway, at the present time, I saw Silvia sitting near the piano and I wanted to show her that I could play the piano. I had to get to class but this was more important. I played “Halo” and she was amazed at how I could play. She said that she wished she didn’t quit learning how to play the piano. And just so you know, she isn’t the only girl I impressed. Girls seem to enjoy my piano playing more than guys. Over the past few weeks I ended up coming to my classes late because I was having a lot of fun entertaining students.
I was so amazed with what I could do and the extent of my talent that I would tend to get carried away. At times, I can still struggle with that but I’m keeping it toned down. Months have gone by and I continued to push forward and suddenly I got a request from the CIP design teacher asking me to be in the talent show and I accepted. I was really enjoying myself socializing and making lots of friends when finally that day came. I played a popular song and I was noticed by a lot of people. They were singing along with the music I was playing. I had two people who played along with me, it was my friend Alex who was playing the drums and his other friend who is a girl who was playing the violin. It was a beautiful moment.
When I played on the second day of the week I became slightly more popular. I made some people cry and I made some people scream with excitement. So that’s how I made things realistic. And it all started with my favorite genres of Anime.
Edwin: Whatever life holds in store for me, I’ll never forget these words – You know the closer you get to something; the tougher it is to see it and I’ll never take that for granted. I’ll just keep pushing forward no matter how hard I try and if at first I don’t succeed I’ll just get myself up and try again. This is my gift and my curse. Who am I??
I am the average piano player.