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The Gaucho Gazette

A Love-Hate Relationship

Ophelia Chiang, Page editor, artist

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I’m not sure how I got here, but I clearly remember the way I stared at the black and white piano keys through desperate eyes clouded by tears, the way I tore my music sheets apart and trashed my books out of annoyance, they way I slapped and pinched my hands over and over again out of anger until they were numb and red, the way I slammed my tiny fists on the keyboard dissatisfaction.

I started learning how to play the piano at around five years old. The way my older brother was able to perform on stage and earn rounds of applause and cheers simply intrigued me. Ignoring my brother’s warnings, I asked my mom to let me take piano lessons as well. A naive five-year old who was fascinated by pressing buttons that made sounds would not consider the consequences of choosing to learn the piano.

As years passed by, my resentment for the piano grew significantly. I hated how while my classmates were playing games or hanging out, I had to sit in front of the dull instrument and repeatedly practice the melody I became sick of half an hour ago. It almost seemed inhumane to force a girl in elementary to practice one piece over and over again until it was absolutely perfect, to force her to perform at a recital in front of hundreds of thousands of people, to force her to compete in competitions that she really could care less about, to force her to study music theory and take tests to confirm her skill level when all she wanted was to enjoy, to play around with the instrument. For eight years, I hated the piano; I wanted nothing more than to quit piano once and for all, and never have to touch it. That’s how much I hated it.

I don’t know how I did it, but I managed to stop playing the piano three years ago, which meant no more tears of frustration, shouting from my teacher, and beating from my mother. Quitting honestly felt like the most refreshing feeling ever to exist. Instead of wasting time, energy, and effort on an instrument I didn’t care about, I had an extra hour of free time where I could do what I wanted to do, and at that time I thought that I finally got to live the life I waited so painfully for.

Surprisingly, I got bored of it. It felt weird not being chained to the piano. Feeling free felt empty.

My mom had suggested multiple times to sell our piano, but somehow I was reluctant to do so, and I wasn’t so sure what was holding me back.

A year later, I found a piece I liked online and printed out the music sheets. As I sat down in front of the piano, it felt weird, but at the same time, it was as though I had never stopped playing. My fingers still moved as swiftly as they did before, the melody still flowed as smoothly as it did before, and I realized that the hours and hours I spent on practicing payed off. Because I spent so much time and effort on the piano, my skill set was very solid and complete. The process was extremely difficult and more frustrating than anything anyone could imagine, but after ten years, it brought me here. Coming from the tips of my fingers, the sound of the piano sounded absolutely breathtaking. And as if I had never hated the piano, I absolutely fell in love with it.

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The student news site of Casa Grande High School
A Love-Hate Relationship