“Giselle! You need to practice. Your lesson is in two hours!”
“Mom, I don’t want to do this. I’m tired of playing the piano. This is such a waste of time.”
“Your father and I are paying good money for you to do this. You’re a prodigy darling. Don’t throw away this gift; many people would kill to have your talent.”
Of course she was guilt tripping me, I ambled my way to the piano and plunked out Piano Sonata No. 11 in A major, K. 331, otherwise known as Rondo alla turca. Painful. My 7 year old prodigy technique was good. It was wonderful. But I hated it. It was like flushing my head down the toilet again and again. I felt my fingers play the beautiful music, but it felt like a funeral march to me. I despised it. I wished I could be doing anything but playing the piano. But I didn’t know anything else. Nothing. I wished I could have just thrown my piano out of the window and run around with the kids at outside. Paint, dance, do sports, even math class was less painful than this. I wanted to stop so badly. But I didn’t. I kept going. Every day for the next 4 years.
And then it all changed.
I told my mom I wanted to be an actress after I played the piano for our local civic theatre. I loved the way the people expressed their emotions and how they could transform into someone else so effortlessly. She finally let me go to an audition. I got the lead role in the play Bye Bye Birdie. After a lot of convincing, she let me quit playing the piano so I could act.
I kept getting roles in the plays I tried out for and piano was a happy forgotten memory...Until one day, when I was on Youtube. The name “Vito Adagio” popped up as a recommended video, and it said “Worlds Hardest Arrangement - Got a Lot of Livin’ to Do”. It’s a song from Bye Bye Birdie and it caught my eye. I remembered the song from when I was in the play. But it wasn’t a complicated piece. It was actually quite simple. I wondered what trick he had up his sleeve. And then I found out when I clicked it.
His music was absolutely beautiful. Awe-inspiring. I didn’t even know you could do what he did on the piano. He played with such grace and drive, there was so much skill, yet so much love in every note. I listened to more of his videos - He had Broadway tunes to anime openings to classical music to contemporary pieces - And oh man, his contemporary pieces. I couldn’t stop listening to him. Every day for the next 4 months, I listened to his videos non-stop until I could pick out every note with my brain and I could visually see the video in my head.
I finally asked my mother to get me back into piano lessons, and much to her delight, she agreed. I wanted to be just like Vito. And I would practice, every day, until I was as good as him.