Work Hard, Play Hard: My Experience with Piano Lessons

When I was ten, our family moved to Washington state. Everything there was so green! There were trees, ferns, and moss everywhere! My parents purchased a home with 20 acres of land. This meant we basically had a forest as our backyard. A huge forest. Our lawn went all the way around our house, and the deck did too. During the five years we lived in that house, my parents kept finding projects to do. With such a large lawn, there was always mowing to do. With a large deck, there was always sweeping and cleaning to do. My mom planted flowers, so there was a lot of watering to be done. My dad built a walkway that followed our deck around the house, so there was a lot of bark to spread. Long story short, we had a lot of WORK to do.

Saturday became our family work day. We would wake up early, eat breakfast, and go to work. All of us had our own chores to do, then we were supposed to help Dad. After helping Dad, we were supposed to help Mom. It wasn’t until late in the day that we began to play. My dad would always say, “If we work hard during the day, we can play hard later.” That phrase has shaped my life. I have been able to tell myself multiple times, “If I work hard now, I can play later . . . . If I do my homework now, I can spend time with my friends later. . . . . If I practice the piano now, I will be a better pianist later.”

There were many times in my life where I did not want to practice the piano. I did not want to continue taking piano lessons. I did not enjoy playing in front of people. Piano was hard work. I had to practice for an hour, sometimes two or three hours, to learn what I needed to. I had to practice the same song over and over again to perfect it. Some days I wanted to watch a movie, eat a snack, or spend time with friends instead of practicing the piano. I saw other people I knew who didn’t seem to be working as hard as I was. They looked like they were having so much FUN. But I learned a valuable lesson from my family. If you WORK hard, you can PLAY hard. And if you do both, you will be much happier. It is so fulfilling to look back and say that I worked really hard at learning the piano! Just like our family work days, I look back on my piano lessons as fond memories. I am so glad I learned the piano! I am so grateful I have this talent. There is much more to be excited about now that I have put in the work. I can sit down and play songs I couldn’t before. I can play in front of people with a lot more confidence than I did before. And I have a talent I can continue to develop the rest of my life because I learned to work at it. I have a degree in music because I simply worked hard for it.

So, even though sometimes it may seem like piano lessons are just too hard and you want to give up, keep working! You will be so glad you worked so hard! It is worth it! Even if you don’t become a concert pianist, you still are spending your time well. You are developing a talent, and you are developing the virtue of WORK.