Friday, November 20, 2009

Rock the Keys

I remember when my family got a piano. We were living in an apartment on Hurlbut street in Pasadena, Calif. It was right next to our dining room table, and closeby our living room. I was immediately enthralled with the idea that I could at some point play this instrument. My mom used to fiddle around, teaching herself how to read the music. She soon suggested to me, my younger brother, and older sister that it would be great if we learned a new skill. So we did -- regular lessons soon began at a local educational institute.

And our move to Pomona, Calif. in 1988 didn't stop my mom's perserverence in wanting us to continue. So we did, and I studied and played the piano for 10 years, from the age of eight to 18. I had private lessons from a world-renowned pianist in Claremont, Calif.

I learned the beauty of the waltz by Chopin, the energy of Mozart, and the classical sound of Beethoven. Every week, I would go to my piano teacher's home and practice, review theory, and listen to her play the songs that I would soon learn. I would then need to practice every day for 30 minutes. Even though there were times that I would have enjoyed going outside to play with my neighborhood pals, I knew the importance of practicing and mastering a challenge.

Every year, I would go to the Claremont Colleges and take tests, sight read for judges, play the songs I chose and adopted (Fur Elise was always my favorite to play), and perform in seasonal recitals. I have 10 "certificates of merit," each reminding me that hard work always pays off.

Now, I don't have a piano as an adult, living in my own apartment. But my parents still have the original. My 3 year-old niece is our up-and-coming pianist, as I sit and play with her when I visit "Yaya" and "Papa." Unfortunately, I am rusty now and have forgotten many songs. But I have never forgotten the beautiful memories of being committed to this craft and, well, my talent.

So in turning 29 next week, I decided that I would love to go with Steve and my friends to a local dueling piano bar, called "Rock the Keys" in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. How exciting to see! I have never been.

With my new Forever 21 mini-dress ready for this Saturday evening, I can't wait to be around my favorite instrument. I hear the pianists can play everything from Van Halen to Snoop Dogg and Sublime to Red Hot Chili Peppers. People can even make requests. Well, you know that I am going to request No Doubt!

Going back to my roots feels amazing, and something that I would love to experience with those who who are important in my life. This article isn't so much fashion-related as it is personal. I am who I am because of my experiences in life, and what I have learned about my growth. My mother misses my practicing and dancing in the kitchen as I would play. And so do I. But we all know that the real benefit of my learnings was discipline. I would even listen to my favorite composers as I did my homework throughout the years.

This outting should be exciting! And will only remind me of the good times when I tickled the ivory and created music that filled up our home.

Photo Credit:


raquel roysdon said...

Wow the piano! I commend you. I tried to learn the guitar as a child. Enjoy the evening at the piano bar.

tracey said...

I love this post Elana. It made me think back to my piano lessons YEARS ago. My my kids are taking the lessons. I do have my piano, as my mother passed it on to me. I'm thinking of acoustic guitar in my old age!

Have fun and rock the mini!

Good Girl Gone Shopping said...

Thanks Raquel!!!

Tracey: That's great. Acoustic guitar would be awesome. Let me know how that works ;-)