BY CLAUDE MCVICKER, STAFF WRITER
Lately, I’ve found myself feeling inspired or stressed and wanting to play piano. I’ve wandered to the performing arts building, looking for a piano to play, but with no luck. If you’re like me, then chances are that listening to music or playing an instrument is an important aspect of your life, and for good reason.
Music provides many important benefits to one’s health, such as: improving ones mood, lowering blood pressure, improving sleep quality and even helps post-surgery outcomes for patients who listened to music before an operation. So, it’s no surprise that most people have a relationship with music in some way.
I started playing piano around the age of six, and took lessons on and off for a few years before stopping all together. At the time, I didn’t have the patience required to sit in front of a keyboard, pressing the same keys over and over and over again until muscle memory eventually kicked in — just for that portion of the piece — before moving on to another section, where I would then repeat the process.
However, about two years ago, I became addicted to listening to piano covers of songs. I eventually thought to myself, “Why don’t I give piano another go?” I’ve been teaching myself how to play different songs since then.
Piano is very important to me. It helps me relax, express myself and even get rid of negative feelings. It’s sort of an odd thing to explain, but when I play piano it’s almost as if all the things that have been bothering me — the thoughts I pushed back and believed to have forgotten about — reemerge and exit my body onto the piano keys.
Many people are like this: they experience some type of benefit from playing an instrument. So you can imagine my disappointment when I couldn’t find a way to quickly play some piano in between classes.
Personally, I think it’d be nice if Mason had some sort of room, filled with digital pianos and headsets, for students who aren’t enrolled in the School of Music. This way, people can have some way of playing piano during their downtime.
A room filled with string, brass, or woodwind instruments would be nice too, although I see problems arising with strings and bows snapping and different people putting their mouths on the same instrument.
Mason does offer piano lessons; however, most of them are scheduled during the late afternoon/early evening, which is when many students do their homework, and having to pay for lessons would most likely discourage most students from taking them.
To finish, I’d like to quote something Dr. Linda Apple Monson, the director of keyboard studies, stated during an interview: “When you truly have the gift of music in your life, you feel whole.”