small pieces of joy

pieces of joy in each day

the piano man

on March 5, 2011

Today’s small thing: a conversation with a jazz pianist

I have been playing piano since sophomore year in high school when I started hanging out with my very musically talented band friends. I wanted to be able to play piano like they did, so I started to teach myself my favorite classical piece, Pachebel’s Canon in D Major.

Over the years I have developed a strange love affair with the piano. Anytime I see one, hear one, or even talk about one, I get a little weak at the knees. It is hard to explain this cosmic connection I have with the box of strings, but it never goes away. Let me remind you that I am not by any means an excellent piano player, but my ability has grown over the years to the point of me feeling ok with calling myself a piano player. We hang out a lot, and sometimes I even create songs to add to my keyboard’s repertoire. I love love love it.

This crazy connection brings me to the small thing last night: the piano man.

My husband and I went to an event at the local art museum which included free wine and appetizers, as well as entertainment by a local jazz pianist. We wandered through the galleries picking out the good and the ugly, while our ears enjoyed the simple stylings of the piano man. He was a sight to see. No music was present, just his fingers, his tapping feet, and his constant smile.

Of course I was drawn toward the piano (remember my special connection) and I began to just stare. I was standing close enough to him where I could see the chords he was playing, but far enough away where I thought he wouldn’t notice. I was wrong. He immediately caught my stare and asked “do you play?” of course I jumped at the chance to talk to this guy, so I inched closer and began discussing our love for playing piano. He talked to me while he was playing, showed me some easy tricks, and blew me away with his talent and knowledge of music. The best part? He isn’t classically trained! He plays by ear and he said the most important thing is to play with all your heart. No wonder he was smiling the whole time!

I walked away from our conversation, after shaking his hand and taking his business card, smiling from ear to ear. Not only did I just have an amazing musical experience, but this professional piano player had just given me the best motivation ever. He gave me hope…I play by ear. I’m not classically trained. I play with my whole heart. And I thought for a moment that maybe, just maybe, I could be a talented piano player like he is. Is this what people feel like after meeting their idol? I am still on a high, and it is so cool because really, he is just an ordinary human being like me, with an amazing God-given talent, sharing it with the world. Can I do that too? YES!

There is something magical about music. This night really reminded me that I have been neglecting music in my life, and I need to get back to it! Thank you, piano man, for helping me find the music in me again.

What do you love about music?


One response to “the piano man

  1. Mikala says:

    Hey Kari! I took lessons as a kid, but never was great, and always admired people who can play. We just bought a piano lesson session for Austyne because one of her favorite things to do is play piano and sing with you and the Ashley girls! In fact, watching you girls play together is one of my favorite things to do! 🙂 Play on!!


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