March 18, 2021

About the Author: Stefan Joubert

Stefan Joubert is the manager of Online Piano Institute and The London Piano Institute. He is passionate about world-class piano education and learning via Zoom, Skype or FaceTime.

To the question “What do you do?”, I always answer “I am a pianist, master piano instructor and founder of several music schools for adults around the world”.

The comment that follows is always: “Oh, I wish I could play the piano, but I don’t have a musical ear. My sister/aunt/cousin is very good at it, but it is not for me. I do not have any talent for music.”

angel marble statue holding a harp

Touched By the Gods: The Divine Talent

There seems to be a myth around piano playing, a belief that one needs to be touched by the gods or born with a divine talent to be able to play the piano.

It is, indeed, a beautiful idea, that put musicians on a pedestal. They can be admired for their celestial abilities and envied for their almighty capacities.

I wish it would be true as I would not have had to spend countless hours practising for several years.

I do not know why most people have such a belief. It is probably an idea that is passed on from generation to generation and never reconsidered.

I have often heard the terms “musical genius” or “child prodigy” but I have never understood how it can apply to pianists and musicians in general. These words are, I am afraid, pure fabrication and do not describe concert pianists correctly.

It would be more appropriate to talk about pianists as hard-working, disciplined and diligent individuals.

You might be disappointed to know that your heroes have created their own talent but it might also give you the courage to get started.

Shattered Glass

Shatter The Myth

I believe that you have now understood that the pianists you regularly listen to have not woken up one morning with a new skill that allows them to perform Chopin, Rachmaninov, Liszt or Debussy brilliantly.

They have practised very hard for many years to be able to offer you such delightful performances.

I have, myself, started very young and I was surely not the pianist I am today. I had to practise hard as a child and a teenager, while my friends were enjoying themselves.

I went through various phases and had to reconsider and rethink many aspects of my piano playing several times. In addition to attending several music classes weekly, I used to participate in numerous masterclasses and make external research to become the pianist I am today.

man playing on a grand piano

Does It Really Apply to You?

I have discussed the myth and reality about pianists and their remarkable feats, but does it really apply to you? Are you interested in learning how to play the piano to perform at Carnegie Hall or do you wish to play for your pleasure?

I believe that your intention is the latter.

In that case, there is no need for talking about talent or natural ability. We do not even need to talk about endless hours spent at the piano. I could still understand your concerns if you intended to become a professional pianist but playing for the pleasure is possible for everybody.

Woman playing the piano

There Are Two Different Ways to Look at It – Playing the Piano Can Either Be Easy or Extremely Complex

It all depends on your goals and the more I think about it, the more I wonder why adults focus so much on “having a special talent” when it comes to piano playing.

Have you given up playing golf because you might never be as good as Tiger Wood?

Have you given up playing tennis because you might never be able to beat Roger Federer?

Have you given up cooking because you might never prepare a Beef Wellington as well as Gordon Ramsey?

Have you given up gardening because you might never be appointed to redesign Versailles Palace gardens?

Do you see what I mean?

If you love the piano and you would like to learn how to play it, there is no reason why you should not start and enjoy yourself. You are not in competition with anyone and there is no deadline. You can practise as much or as little as you wish, have incredible goals in mind or simply aim to play a few simple tunes.

Playing the piano is a wonderful activity that will surely bring a lot of joy into your life, especially if you stop comparing yourself with the world’s greatest pianists.

Just get started and stop wondering!

a hand writing on a music sheet on top of the piano keys

The Right Guidance Will Make Your Piano Journey a Memorable Experience

It is essential to be well-supported from day one.

Having a fantastic piano teacher will surely make your overall experience extremely enjoyable since you will make progress regularly and be introduced to the wonderful world of music in the right way.

However, trying to teach yourself by watching some obscure videos will undoubtedly lead to a disaster.

If you are diligent, you attend your piano lessons regularly and you dedicate a fair amount of time to personal practice daily, you will definitely become a proficient amateur pianist.

You will improve as you go along and surely realise that anyone can play the piano, even if you used to believe that you are not “musical”. Your feel for music, sense of interpretation and technical abilities will develop over time, as it is the case for professional pianists.

There is neither a magic potion or supernatural miracle that can produce a brilliant pianist but practice, practice and practice.

If this article boosted your confidence, you are most welcome to contact us and start your piano lessons straight away under the guidance of one of our excellent piano teachers.

There is no limitation at The Online Piano Institute, as you can study with us from anywhere around the world, begin your piano course at any time during the year and enjoy an exceptional piano education, even if you do not have any prior musical knowledge.

Witnessing your progress and happiness from a week to another will surely make us very proud and bring us tremendous joy!

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