It is difficult to quantify why music is so invaluable. To do so almost feels counter-intuitive. The very nature of the subject lives beyond words, at an archetypal level—where music gets its energy and pattern—reliant upon making conscious those ambiguous qualities drawn largely from intuition. You listen, you play, and interact. And as a result, a new form of communication emerges unrivaled by writing or speaking.
Perhaps it was this indefinable quality that inspired me to take up the piano as an adult and let my intuition put into practice what was so difficult to define. Even after experiencing some of the direct benefits from five years of lessons, I still struggle to clarify its meaning. Which begs the question, 'why does the importance of music education need defending?'
No instrument possesses the wide-ranging stylistic potential inherent to the piano. Many instruments can be comfortably played in a multitude of styles, but only piano can be consistently found in nearly every musical genre.
The piano is the easiest instrument to play in the beginning and the hardest to master in the end. [ 2 ]
Vladimir Horowitz, quoted in David Dubal's book Evenings with Horowitz, perfectly illustrates why there are legions of piano students, but so few piano virtuosi. In the beginning, many students desire to learn piano; and of those, some possess the desire to practice. Few students exhibit the focus needed for effective practice. And even fewer students show profound musical potential, especially from a young age.
There is music in every child. The teacher’s job is to find it and nurture it.Frances Clark [ 2 ]
Finding the appropriate teacher for yourself or your child is as important an enterprise as selecting the right doctor or dentist. One size fits all does not apply here. The teacher that works for you is a subjective, personal choice. He/she is someone with whom you’ll spend a considerable amount of time. And if you’re not careful, the wrong teacher can derail your enthusiasm before you’ve really even gotten started. Since learning the piano can sometimes feel like a daunting and difficult task to begin with, and requires a great deal of focus and discipline, removing any unnecessary obstacles can prevent many future headaches. So take your time and do some research before settling on just anyone.
The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.Alan Watts, from The Wisdom of Insecurity [ 2 ]
Parting with any of your possessions can be difficult, as nostalgia seems to creep into every box, memento or broken chair. That piano, on which you first learned Für Elise, or watched your children pounding out chopsticks, taps directly into your sense memory. These charged emotions are not to be trusted when selling your piano.
That’s where this guide comes in, to help navigate through the logistics during this seemingly difficult task; and avoid rash, uninformed decisions. You want to approach selling your piano with as much zeal as you did in buying it—so be prepared.