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The Difference Between Those who are Piano Players and Actual Pianists

20March

Many of us play the piano. In fact if you’re reading this you most likely play the piano. All of us possess this certain skill and it connects us in a peculiar fashion.  You’d soon notice that your friends here aren’t quite like ones you have in school, if you’ve managed to get along with those around you here.  I don’t know about yours, but in my experience they are generally livelier, more expressive, and gregarious (sociable). Whatever the case may be, I think that there is one question where we differ.

Why do we play the piano?

Many of us would like to say it is because we love to play the piano, and for some of this it is true. I haven’t stopped practicing for a month in the last six years, and I think if I do, I will have horrendous withdrawals. But for some of us, we play because we are forced to play. Because our parents make us play. Because it looks good. If you genuinely don’t like the piano, why are you playing it?

Why spend time devoting yourself to something that you don’t even want?

Anyway, I’m not saying you should all pack your bags and leave, or go find something else to do. Nothing like that. You see, I was initially forced to play too, and I think I even hated it at one point. Slowly it became tolerable…and then as something to relieve stress with. Then…well, now, I can’t see my life without it.

I don’t know if this is a love that develops over time or how it came to such that I went from having no desire to improving into something that I now strive harder and harder to become better and better. When looking for songs to play for the recital, I get the urge to jump at incredibly hard songs so I can take this opportunity to sound amazing AND I can train my technique my mastery of dynamics. I know there are some of you out there who choose an easy song. Maybe it’s to have a better chance of winning the trophy (I don’t mean to offend any of you, I love winning too). Maybe because just because it sounds exceptionally pretty. I myself used to be attracted to slow and elegant pieces. But why not challenge yourself, push yourself further, take the risk to play a hard song in front of an audience, improve in performance, persistence, skill. I started to choose harder songs when I decided to play a piece that I’ve always listened to but could never play. I had listened to it four years, with awe and trepidation, but I was finally going to take the risk and take it on. After that recital, my appetite became insatiable. I can’t see myself choosing a slow piece anymore. It has to be fast, exciting, con brio, con fuoco! It has to be a piece that makes me even more passionate than I already am about playing the piano.

But maybe that’s just me. I know that there are some of you who are afraid to take the leap, to push the bounds of your limits. Hard songs are daunting, to be sure. Or maybe you are just content with your level of playing; you think that you’re good enough to be happy. But as for me I can’t be content. Not yet. Not ever. Maybe this is because I play because love to play. Not because someone makes me play. But because I love to.

And I think, this is what love does. It takes you as far as you can go. It makes you want to be better and better. Perfection isn’t an option, but persistence is…

And then there are some of us who are still learning, bit by bit. Taking our time. So I encourage you to take your time. If you don’t love to play yet, maybe you will later. I can’t guarantee this…

But it is a possibility.