People that I know often ask me if I still play the piano. I usually give the following lame answer of “unfortunately, I just don’t have the time right now.”
I got to thinking yesterday that maybe in fact I was unconsciously lying to them. Growing up, I was probably just as busy as I am now what with all the sports, homework, part time jobs etc. and I still found the time to sit down and play. However, I always had to play the piano because I was working towards a goal whether it was recitals, music festivals or a royal conservatory exam coming up.
Now that I’m grown up I don’t have anyone I need to play fun a piece of music for flawlessly anymore and so I find no reason to just sit down and play. It begs me to ask the question of what happened to playing for the sake of playing because it’s fun? I’m not just talking about piano; I’m talking about all sorts of activities. Why not solely run for the sake of running because you like it? I remember an episode of ‘Friends’ when Phoebe and Rachel were running in Central Park and Phoebe was running like she did when she was a child… free and not caring what others around her thought. When did I start caring about pleasing people and worrying about being perfect in their eyes? I wish I were like Phoebe in that episode who just ran and ran because it was fun. Can’t adults find the time to play without having to have some sort of goal at the end of it?
I’m not saying that playing the piano with a goal wasn’t fun for me when I was younger; in fact I thrived on it. I practiced and practiced until I had every note perfect. But now, I find that I don’t know how to just sit for an hour and play for the love of simply feeling the keys fly under my fingers… and in all honesty I find that really depressing. Hopefully someday I can get to that place fun games where I don’t care about being perfect for the people around me.
Today, I am going to sit down at the piano and just play for the fun of it. I’m not going to tell myself to learn a whole piece of music seamlessly by the end of the week. I’m just going to sit down and play for me because that’s who really matters.