In order to thrive, we need a musical “scene”

Tourists on Beale Street, MemphisRemember the first time you heard a piano? The beauty of the sound and the excitement of the rhythm? Most of all, you had a feeling of “Wow! I want to do that!” You felt a sense of possibility; “I can learn to play like that.” “This IS possible!”

Yes, it is possible, and you can do it, but you need the right environment. Not just lessons, but a musical “scene” to nurture your interest and provide continual inspiration. Something like the 1960’s London rock scene, 1920’s New Orleans for jazz and blues, and classical music in 1780’s Vienna. A vibrant place where you can hang out and get instruction and encouragement from an experienced musician, see and hear piano playing in various musical styles, and feel the exciting sense of possibility.

High schools and colleges fulfill this role for a lot of music students. Or, if you have a full-time job, you can supplement your piano lessons by going to local jam sessions on a regular basis.  The musical stimulation you’ll get from being in this type of “immersive” environment is absolutely essential to keeping you interested and motivated in the long run. In fact, after years of teaching piano privately, this is one of the main reasons I created I’ve found that the combination of video lessons, weekly newsletters, and personal guidance I give helps students in just this way. We don’t just need information, we need encouragement and personal connection.

The “local” British rock musicians from the 60’s now play in stadiums.  Most of the old New York jazz clubs are gone or too expensive to go to every night. The good news is that we’re all connected globally now: it’s easier than ever to find or create your own musical scene, where you can hang out and thrive. Good luck!

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