Seven Annoying Things People Say to Pianists

Emily says it so well…..I have a sad memory about being asked to play something at the last minute: when my great-grandmother died, my father asked me – 1 hour before we were to leave for the memorial service – if I would play her favorite song, “Beautiful Dreamer.” I had some music for it, but I just couldn’t prepare it quickly enough so I refused, and my dad was really mad at me that whole day. I’ve always wondered if I should have just blundered through it, but it felt really wrong.

The Bookshelf of Emily J.

I was talking to one of my friends recently about the problems with being a pianist.  She plays the piano like I do, and we are often asked to accompany people at our church when they sing or play another instrument.  We came to the conclusion that it really is a thankless job, even though we enjoy doing it.

This conversation prompted me to think of seven of the annoying things people commonly say to pianists.

1. “I wish I could play as well as you do.”

Well, you can.  You just need to start practicing.  Begin taking lessons, and then practice for an hour or more a day for at least ten years.  Then you’ll be as “good” as me.

2. “I’m just not blessed with that talent.”

Neither am I.  See my response to comment number 1.

3.  “Can you accompany me tomorrow?  The music has four sharps…

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5 responses to “Seven Annoying Things People Say to Pianists

  1. That’s really mean of your dad to be mad at you!

    • He didn’t intend to be mean – he was upset about his grandmother and he didn’t understand the whole performance thing. He was wrapped up in his own issues and to him, it seemed that I was refusing to cooperate and being a selfish teenager. It’s all perspective. Thanks for being on my side though!

  2. Funerals always create last-minute performances. I once accompanied a group of vocalists at a funeral, and one of the people in the audience said my face was so serious and concentrated the whole time. That’s because I was trying so hard not to mess up! I hadn’t had much time or warning to practice.