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The Very Early Years

I was 8 years old when my grandmother asked if I wanted a piano for my birthday. Wow, my own piano! Typical of kids at that age, I was interested in everything and eagerly said yes. So, my dad drove the entire family down town to go hunt for a piano. Once the piano was secured, a piano teacher was found for me and music lessons began.

I was all excited about learning how to make music. I looked forward to my music lesson each week. Though I was learning music formally, the language of music and learning how to play an instrument is not easy. There is much to do to play a simple piece of music well. We have to have steady tempo, controlled finger pressure on the piano keys, good rhythm, proper phrasings, etc. It means that our musical mind has to work to bring all these together for the piece to sound decent. In my mind, there was a lot to do to play a song correctly.

While I was learning music, I was also listening to a lot of music. Listening to music is where it has helped me most at that age. There has always been a lot of music around the house and in the family car. My parents love music and they listen to music quite a lot. Every time we have to head out in the car, either my dad or I would select an 8-track cartridge cassette to listen to in the car. 8-track cartridge? What’s that you ask? Well, it was the most popular media at that time where music is recorded on a quarter inch tape housed inside a chunky plastic cartridge. It is really archaic compared to the small MP3 players that can store hundreds of songs these days.

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