Is Piano Hard for Everyone?

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Welcome to Living Pianos.com, I’m Robert Estrin. Is piano hard for everyone? I know there are some of you out there who are frustrated. You find that you want to play well, and yet it seems so hard. Why is it so hard for you? You see other people play and it seems effortless. So is it really just hard for you? Or is it hard for everyone? I’ve got news for you. Piano is hard for everyone!

There are many different aspects of playing the piano.

Somebody who has very large hands can reach chords you could only dream about reaching. You think, “Oh, it must be great for them.” My father had enormous hands. He could reach some incredible chords in Rachmaninoff. But he had to work extra hard to be able to play delicately. For somebody with really massive hands, playing fast and light is a huge challenge. That’s just one example. Piano playing encompasses so many aspects of the brain, ears, emotions, and memory. For example, some people might have a great deal of emotion in their playing. But maybe it’s a tremendous challenge for them to keep straight where they are in a piece of music. Intellectually, the demands of being able to memorize music and keep track of where they are in an extended work could be really tough. The opposite could also be true.

When you see young kids playing really well, you might think it comes naturally to them. That’s not true.

Those kids practice a lot. I can guarantee it. Nobody comes out of the womb able to play the piano. Sometimes it seems that way. Sometimes it’s sold that way. For example, I went to the Manhattan School of Music. A lot of musicians in the orchestra would say, “I don’t need to take my music home.” They would pretend they didn’t even have to practice, they were just naturally that good. But that is bunk! They would get the parts somewhere else. They were probably actually practicing more than other people. But they wanted to give the illusion of effortlessness.

It takes hard work to be accomplished on the piano or any other instrument.

That is the honest truth. If you spend the time, you will develop. So don’t be discouraged if you find that piano is hard for you. It’s hard for everyone! The things that are hard for you might be easy for someone else, but the opposite is also true. You might think nothing of the fact that rhythms come pretty naturally to you. But somebody else might struggle with them. You have some things in your playing that are much harder for somebody else. So don’t fret. If you find something hard, just spend time with it. Anybody who’s really accomplished on the piano has spent a lot of hours with the instrument over a long period of time. That’s simply what it takes. I hope this is inspiring for you and not discouraging. I’d like to hear from you! Let me know, is piano easy for you? Thanks so much for joining me, Robert Estrin here at LivingPianos.com, Your Online Piano Resource.

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17 thoughts on “Is Piano Hard for Everyone?”

  1. I believe one must have a strong desire to learn an instrument AND enjoy what they hear, experience. It’s a challenge, for sure, and takes hours but practice rewards and effort pays off. To make music is deeply satisfying if the desire is there. The struggle is worth it.

  2. I truly appreciated this video. I believe that I possess about zero natural musical talent and learning to play is quite a challenge. It is good to know that piano is hard for everyone, including those who seem to have “The Gift.” Thanks Robert for encouraging us all to just stick with it.

  3. Thank you Robert. Yes, so true. You watch young pianists maybe at the Proms or whatever and feel, at times, disappointed. I was cursed with an ” ear” for music and mimicked the major concertos in my own key and that was 60 years ago. Very frustrating when it came to actual scores and proper technique.
    So PRACTICE is the credo and more of it. Thank you again for the no nonsense tutorials which are always so constructive.

  4. I am actually glad to hear this, you play wonderfully and my goal is to play as well. Sometimes it’s frustrating to keep practicing as other instruments do not seem as difficult.

    Thank you for your inspiring videos, I always find something useful in them!

    1. While piano music is more complex than music for instruments that only play one note at a time, sound production can be a far greater challenge on other instruments. Just getting the sound out of a flute, or learning how to hold a violin and bow can be a daunting task! So, all instruments have their challenges.

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